Florida school districts were finally given student FSA scores by the Department of Education. They are beginning to release this information to parents. However, the reports will not tell parents whether their student has passed the test or even how well they scored. Passing scores (also called cut scores) will not be set by the Florida Board of Education until they meet on January 6, 2016. Yes, you read that correctly. 2016.
The value of the reports remains limited, as they show the percentile rankings that compare performance to the rest of the state, but they do not give any indication of how students did compared to the state standards. (from the Tampa Bay Times)
In September, superintendents across the state joined together and declared that they have lost all faith in the accountability system. They feel that the FSA is a flawed assessment and should not be used for any reason including school grades.
However, passing the FSA is a graduation requirement for last year’s sophomores- the Class of 2017. These students won’t find out if they passed until half way through their junior year!
If they did not pass the FSA, these students have very little time to try to achieve a passing score on a make up test or to obtain a concordant score on the SAT or ACT. Districts across the state are alarmed that numerous children will be denied diplomas because of this bad test. Many are providing free SAT or ACT testing to all juniors and seniors partially to ensure all students have another shot at satisfying their graduation requirement. Meanwhile, Board of Education members are signaling that they want to arbitrarily set the passing rate very high- meaning many students will fail.
It is up to us to advocate for them. Click below to send a quick email to your elected officials and remind them to put teaching and learning ahead of testing and punishing.