May 7, 2021

Lauren Smith: Quit wasting resources on student testing

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This is a guest op-ed from the Florida Times-Union. In it, Smith underlines the pointlessness of the 2021 Big Standardized Test.

As 2021 enters its fifth month, Florida sighs. Tourism is reviving, the economy is stuttering instead of stalling – and Florida parents can sleep soundly knowing their children are saved from high-stakes testing. At least, where passing is concerned.

Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced earlier this month that school districts across the state wouldn’t count high-stakes testing against students. Seniors can still walk – free of the tethers of weary test scores – and all other grade levels could take reprieve in this: promotion will be based on merit; not testing performance.

Re-read that. Once, twice – what does it say? It reveals the very truth Florida educators have been preaching since testing’s conception: State testing doesn’t matter. In fact, it shouldn’t matter at all. It’s not an accurate measure or student accomplishment, and it wastes millions of dollars each year.

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