Florida Must Reject PARCC Testing
Florida high schools are spending about 80 days a year involved in state mandated testing. The last 35 or 36 days of the school year are all testing days of some sort. Potential PARCC testing will add about 20 more days to testing.
EOC testing is taking up a lot of time. It is not just FCAT. Also in Florida for each test you take you must FIRST take an ePat test to get familiar with the computer testing. I have not found one student who thinks this is needed. Students lose instructional time to take these practice tests that take about 45 minutes to do. Many students are pulled from classes to take three or four of these ePat tests.
Time is also lost since the state now requires students to take PERT testing. This test was never designed to be forced on all students but Florida has bastardized this test and used it to punish schools and students who do not do well. For students it is just another test. Those not going to college are forced to take it and many guess- making the overall results suspect.
Also- only lower performing students (on the FCAT!) are forced to take the test. Can you predict the results? What an utter scam.
The state diverts over one million dollars a year to force kids to take the PSAT. They are all signed up for it. Some districts divert tons of money to force students to take another test that was never designed to be forced on students- the SAT (or ACT). Why? It is done to help school grades to be totally honest.
Throw in other state mandated diagnostic testing and we are right around 80 days a year. Do results come back faster due to computerized testing? Nope. FCAT and EOC results should be ready within a week. They still take forever as they are manipulated. One DOE official told me, “We can only have so many level 5’s.” WOW!
Notice that none of the testing is teacher designed? What if students designed some ways to be evaluated? What if we let teachers evaluate students during the year with portfolios to show growth and college or career readiness? Why does Florida trust Pearson and PARCC and not professionals who actually work WITH their students?
The answer is quite simple. Money.
Letting politicians create the political term “college and career ready” and then letting them decide what it means based on test scores is INSANE.
Florida continues to lose good teachers because schools are becoming testing factories. There is no respect. Florida says, “ONLY do what we say and if it goes wrong- your fault.” It is time to END all EOC exams and let teachers design their own exams. Some EOC exams are given a month or more before the end of the year! Florida does not trust teachers. We have FINAL EXAMS and we have SEMESTER EXAMS. Do we need Peason EOC exams too? The state needs more political hammers so they need more tests!
Schools are closing libraries to make room for testing. We had to close our library for some 40 days last year. Why work in a state that just wants test proctors? This award winning teacher is one of many who said, “No more.”