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Some Martin County teachers say new progress monitoring testing is bad for students

Students will take three smaller exams in fall, winter, and spring
Posted at 7:17 AM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 07:17:46-04

STUART, Fla. — Some teachers in Martin County are not happy with Governor Ron DeSantis' decision to end Florida Standards Assessments, or FSA testing, and replace it with what's known as progress monitoring.

Sue Rao, Vice President of the Martin County Education Association said both models fail students because of the high stakes that are associated with the tests.

"If my kid doesn't pass one test, my kid isn't going to 4th grade and my child isn't a good test taker and they get nervous and they get anxious, and it just creates this environment that is not good," said Rao.

Rao said she believes in assessments to track the progress of students, but that there needs to be alternate models for students to get promoted to the next grade level.

Instead of one larger, more comprehensive test at the end of school year, students will now take three smaller exams in the fall, winter, and spring months.

Results from the tests will be shared with teachers within one week and with parents within two weeks.

Governor DeSantis said this model will allow for teachers to adjust earlier on for each individual student before the end of the year.

Rao said it could lead to teachers "teaching the test" rather than teaching for valuable learning.

"Instead of having that one big test that gets a lot of attention in the spring, we have testing happening all year long that's going to get a lot of attention. Our kids need to be learning all year long, not testing," said Rao.

Florida is the first state to implement progress monitoring.

The new testing model will begin in the school year starting in 2022.

Rao said she worries it could sway teachers from wanting to move to Florida due to the more frequent monitoring of their work.