You ever get the feeling Florida doesn’t know what it is doing when it comes to education? Now I am not talking about Florida’s teachers, by all accounts some of the best in the country but it’s policy makers.
A little background, Florida paid Utah five million dollars to field test the questions of our upcoming Florida Standards test, you know because Utah and Florida are so similar. Well Utah has just announced they are planning to scrap their test all together.
From the Salt Lake Tribune: Thursday, lawmakers turned on the SAGE test, like Frankenstein from his monster.
“There will be legislation this year to create a task force to look at doing away with the SAGE test entirely,” Stephenson said during a Public Education Appropriation Subcommittee hearing. “I think we need to be looking at the whole issue of whether we should be having end-of-level tests.”
The committee conversation was prompted by Rep. Justin Fawson, R-North Ogden, who objected to a plan by the state school board to lease SAGE to other states and use the revenue to create new questions for the test.
Why expand a test, he asked, if his ultimate hope is to see the assessment abandoned?
“I don’t support high-stakes testing,” Fawson said, “so to that end, I can’t support additional development of assessment questions for that test.”
Rep. LaVar Christensen, R-Draper, agreed. He said students don’t like the test and the results from the first year of implementation, which showed widespread failure in math and English, can’t be trusted.
“The data comes out low and it’s treated as an accurate assessment of where we are, when in reality it’s inherently flawed,” Christensen said. “If you’re going in the wrong direction, you don’t step on the gas pedal.
This is the test by the way that Florida intends to use to grade students, schools and teachers and will have pay, employment and promotion repercussions. A test Utah thinks is fundamentally flawed.
Florida which has already spent tens of millions of dollars should follow Utah’s lead and get rid of the test after all if they were good enough for us to go to for our questions they might just know something about its quality.