Will Florida’s new test be valid?


Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature passed a law requiring a validity study of the state’s new annual test that replaced the FCAT. The Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) was first used last school year and it’s implementation was fraught with technology problems and reports of flawed questions. Two different testing companies were hired and have been working on the study which is due by September 1st.

The two firms are looking at how the FSA questions were selected and at how well the test matched with the Florida Standards, the state’s version of Common Core, among other questions. The FSA is meant to test whether students met those Common Core academic benchmarks…

A monthly report noted the companies have collected more than 650 documents related to the FSA and looked at more than 200 test items, studying whether they met “best practices in assessment design,” used appropriate language for the grade level, targeted “intended depth of knowledge” and were free of bias.

The firms also have looked at how FSA questions, leased from Utah’s state test, were field tested.

But company officials have given no hint about whether they think the FSA is a well-put together and valid exam – or if they’ve spotted problems.

The study will be extremely technical and will be unlikely to provide lay people with clear answers. Read more from the Orlando Sentinel here.

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