Teachers feel hesitant towards change in standardized testing


Photo by Veronika Maynard


The state of Florida’s decision to phase out the Florida Standard Assessment (FSA) testing next school year has caused discussion among Florida teachers, students, administration, and parents. FSA testing is a form of high-stakes standardized testing which assesses the progress and comprehension of students, but critics of this system say it is outdated and unscientific. 

I one-hundred percent think phasing out any kind of high-stakes testing is a good decision,” said English teacher Erin DiCarolis.

However, teachers and staff are worried about what kind of testing might replace the FSA.

Assistant Principal Dr. Rachel Menta is unsure about what might change about testing. 

“I am hesitant about the elimination of the FSAs because I wonder what their replacement might look like. I wonder how schools, students, and teachers will be held accountable to the new assessments,” said Menta. 

Some teachers believe that the decision does not indicate any kind of major structural change, but is simply a way to please parents who disagree with the premise behind the FSA.

“I think it is a decision made only to please parents and make them feel warm and fuzzy. Parents were so excited to see the “common core” gone even though the new standards are similar to the old. Same for the test,” said Math teacher Tara Skaggs.

The new decision outlines a plan for a new testing system known as “progress monitoring,” or a type of test designed to assess the abilities of students throughout the school year.  

 “Progress monitoring systems are important for student growth, and it helps teachers to have a better idea of how to adjust to make sure all students are learning, but I’m not sure what this will look like,” said Menta.

Others are concerned that progress monitoring may only be different from the FSA in name only. 

“It sounds too good to be true and I do not trust it. I am sure it will just be a new testing system that replicates the FSA or the FCAT, ” DiCarolis said.