All across the country states are canceling their high stakes tests. So far Florida hasn’t and we should ask why.

All across the country state after state has canceled their high stakes tests as the Corona Virus rages across the nation. Florida however hasn’t and I think we all know why.

Florida uses its high stakes test as a hammer to bludgeon, schools, students and teachers. The test here isn’t used to guide or improve instruction, no it is used to harm public ed and the teaching profession and the reality is even Florida knows they are unimportant and used as a weapon. That’s why 2000 vouchers schools don’t have to take them but that is an entirely different blog.

Perhaps the biggest state to cancel their high stakes test is Texas.


Today, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he is waving the STAAR testing requirements for the 2019-2020 school year.

Keven Ellis, the chair of the State Board of Education, said the decision to promote a student to the next grade will now be a district and teacher-based decision.

Wow, letting teachers and districts determine promotion, what a novel idea.

Indiana has also stepped up to help waiving the 180 day requirement.

From Chalkbeat:

School districts in Indiana will be able to waive up to 20 days of missed classes, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Thursday in response to concerns about the coronavirus.
In a list of new guidelines, Holcomb said schools can use the days consecutively, or spread them throughout the rest of the year. This will allow schools to close without needing to use an eLearning day or make up the days later.

For some reason I don’t think we’re going to be back next week or probably even the week after. Florida is going to have to waive the 180 day rule. 

Even the Federal Government is considering waiving the tests.

Also from Chalkbeat:

States might be able to scrap their required annual tests for closed schools, the federal education department said Thursday, as concerns about the coronavirus swept the country
Guidance released by the U.S. Department of Education says it will consider waiving requirements for state-wide tests, currently mandated in grades 3-8 and once in high school. State testing occurs throughout the spring, and some school closures were already running into planned testing windows.

State after state thinks this is a good idea. 

Even the ACT and SAT are being canceled and postponed

From the Washington Post:

Standardized tests — including the SAT college admissions exam and annual K-12 exams federally mandated in states throughout the country ― are being postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The SAT exam scheduled to be administered worldwide Saturday has been canceled in more than 15 countries, and a growing number of U.S. schools that host it are backing out.
The Saturday administration of the SAT was canceled by the College Board, which owns the exam, in some 20 countries, including China, Japan, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Greece and Italy. A shortage of proctors led to cancellations at dozens of U.S. schools set to administer the exam. (You can see the list here.)
The next ACT college admissions test is scheduled for April 4, with Friday being the last day to register, according to ACT’s website. Whether events will lead the ACT to cancel or reschedule that test remains to be seen.

Friends, Florida’s test is not designed to help or drive instruction, it’s here to punish teachers, schools, and students. In a good year it is a bad thing and this is not a good year.

Then think about this, even if we are back in two weeks which is a big if, are all our kids going to be back? How about all our teachers? Those that do come back are they going to attend consistently, or is a sniffle going to have somebody home for a week.

It’s time to cancel the tests and waive some days. It’s the right thing to do and sadly since that is the case Florida will probably have to come kicking and screaming to it.

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One Reply to “All across the country states are canceling their high stakes tests. So far Florida hasn’t and we should ask why.”

  1. I hope the school board doesn't drop their lawsuit against the city. The city and by that I mean Curry got what he wanted by running out the clock last year. Putting this referendum on the ballot was never a priority for city hall. Why are we in such a hurry to give charters money they don't need? Let the 30 days run out on city hall just like they let the clock run out last year. Sue their ass so we don't have to do this again next time.

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