DORAL, FL – Florida school districts are now required to test their students only in person with no option to do it remotely. This means even online learners must show up in person for the standardized tests that will take place in April and May.
The new requirement comes two days after State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran signed an order demanding the tests this year and providing two additional weeks for students to conclude them due to the pandemic.
It wasn’t clear back then if online students from grade 3 through high school had to also show up in person for the tests, but now school administrators from Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties have confirmed all students must be present in the classroom for the tests to be conducted.
However, it isn’t clear until now if there will be penalties for Florida school districts that fail to comply with this requirement.
Exams that fall into this requirement are the FSA or Florida Standards Assessments, EOC or End-of-Course, and ACCESS or Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners, informed South Florida Sun Suntinel.
Now each county will take its own measures to address those students that won’t or can’t attend school for different reasons and to ensure safety for all the school community.
According to spokeswoman Jaquelyn “Jackie” Calzadilla, in Miami-Dade County online learners will be tested either after school or on Saturdays while those who attend school in person will be tested during the day, reported Sun Suntinel.
“All students must participate in state assessments under the commissioner’s order,” Calzadilla said to the media.
Broward, on the other hand, will unveil its own plan for testing, including how to space out desks, thinking especially in children who have medical problems or live in multigenerational homes, although the Broward teachers union disapprove the decision of resuming tests.
“It’s very upsetting the state hasn’t allowed it to remain optional,” said School Board member Debra Hixon to Sun Suntinel, who also expressed she had hoped the state would opt out of the FSAs this year.
“I wish it had been left as optional. The state has proven over and over again they want business as usual even though we are in the middle of the pandemic.”