Books are Enough

The Power of Free, Self-Selected Reading

Florida is not interested in what readers think

I can flat-out tell you that most students I know think the idea of taking a reading test online is absurd and painful. Florida (like other states) has moved testing to computers to save money and time. Oddly- results from computer tests in Florida come back no sooner than the old paper versions. Do they save money? Well, I just spoke to a principal who has 800+ computers on campus and was told she needed 400 more to handle common core testing!

To do a real close reading of text, students need to be able to interact with marginal notes and the ability to highlight and underline with ease. The online testing system in Florida is so poor that it is an embarrassment.

Students feel the time it takes to access any interactive features is too distracting to bother with at all. There is no way to really mark up the text in an efficient way with the online testing.  Sometimes the highlighter works and sometimes it does not. There is no way to underline or write notes by the text you want to mark up.

This year, Florida is letting students have a scratch paper with them to write things down. This is a text DISTRACTION and will only slow them down. They need to be able to mark up the text, draw arrows, question marks etc… at the point of interest.

Florida is part of massive malpractice here by not allowing readers to do what they need to do in order to help make meaning out of what is on the page. I brought this up several years ago but was ignored.

And they want to call students “struggling readers” when they don’t reach some fake “on grade level” score on a hurried test? The online testing system hurts a lot of students. Look at what some folks at Princeton said about online reading.  I can tell you that the Florida online system is no better than what these people are saying at Princeton.

I am all for reading on a kindle. I own three of them. I oppose high stakes testing online unless you allow me to do what I need to do in an efficient way that does not distract me. The Florida online testing system for reading is a scam. The one they are planning for common core is just as bad.

I guess Florida is trying to save money for the billions they will need for common core testing.


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