Inside the Florida High School Testing Shakedown
There is a myth floating around that there will be less state testing in Florida next year. The fact is that there will be just as much testing next year as there is this year. This year, another EOC exam was added to increase testiing yet again. In case you want to know why many kids are turned off by math- it is because they spend three years preparing for math EOC exams. They must take one for Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II. Three years of mind-numbing test prep will take its toll. Each of the tests takes two days. If a student is absent for the first session they cannot take session two and must be rescheduled. It can take a school four or five weeks to finish just one of these assessments. There are also single day EOC exams in Biology and History. Schools usually take three weeks to get these done. One of the things that causes problems is that students are often scheduled for two tests on the same day since there is no time to run testing without overlap. Many schools have to run double testing sessions- meaning there is very little teaching and learning going on from March to June. It is not uncommon for teachers to have 30% of a given class gone for testing- several times a week.
There is also the FSA Writing test and the two day FSA ELA test.
Did I mention that there are also AP and AICE or IB tests too? Some of these tests take two days and are given a week apart. I know students who are scheduled to take three , two hour tests in one day. They will take one and have to makeup the others- missing more instructional time.
Libraries, gyms, auditoriums and computer labs are all commandeered for testing each day. Teachers are forced to give up planning time to administer the tests. There is no pay for the extra work.
State tests are meaningless exercises in futility. They have no diagnostic value but do serve the dual purpose of making corporations rich and giving politicians a hammer to use as they see fit. Districts spent millions of dollars on extra battery packs for laptops. The yearly cost of technological upgrades will be a money pit.
If anyone tells you there will be less state testing next year – call them out for the knaves they are.
The Florida testing regimen is a simple yet brutal shakedown of parents, kids and teachers.