~ Legislative proposal will reduce test time by 75%, give teachers and parents more impactful and timely input, and fully eliminate common core ~
Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a legislative proposal that will eliminate the common-core based, end-of-year, high-stakes Florida Statewide Assessment and create the new Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (F.A.S.T) plan, which will monitor student progress and foster individual growth. By creating the F.A.S.T. Plan, Florida will become the first state in the nation to fully implement progress monitoring instead of end-of-year standardized testing, and fully eliminate common core.
“Florida’s education focus should be students’ growth and how we restore the conversation between parents and teachers in support of students’ growth,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “In this final step to eradicate Common Core from our assessments, our administration is implementing the lessons learned from progress monitoring both during the state’s recovery and from our districts and schools that were already showing how we can better support students reaching their own unique growth goals.”
Governor DeSantis made this announcement with Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and was joined by several teachers and students from High Point Elementary School who have already benefited from utilizing the progress monitoring approach. This school, where every student is considered to come from an economically disadvantaged family, used progress monitoring tools throughout the 2020-2021 school year to make actionable decisions in real time. During the Winter progress monitoring, the data reflected that High Point was on track to earn a D as a school. After reviewing the data, the leadership team and coaches pivoted their priorities as teachers and coaches used progress monitoring for each standard to track the students’ growth. After working tirelessly throughout the school year to support the most vulnerable students, High Point Elementary was able to improve their grade from a D to a C and exit turnaround.
“Each year, Governor DeSantis’ administration has been committed to a data-driven approach to constantly improving how Florida provides supports to its teachers and turns the focus of education to how we impact our students, especially those representing achievement gaps,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “We started by creating more flexible pathways to teacher certifications, elevating the profession through massively increasing minimum compensation, providing relief to our teachers who kept education going throughout our recovery and across-the-board increasing our focus on professional development and instructional supports. Florida is now taking the next great step – using what many districts and schools have already proven to be true – that progress monitoring is a school accountability system that puts great information in the hands of our teachers, early and meaningfully, so they can drive students’ growth.”
With this transition to statewide progress monitoring for school accountability, Florida will restore the ability for parents and teachers to have impactful conversations about students’ growth and inform parents’ ability to help their children grow by:
- Becoming the 1st State in the Nation to switch from end of the year assessments to state standards-aligned progress monitoring for accountability;
- Minimizing the stress of testing to three much shorter tests in the Fall, Winter and Spring that will inform students, teachers and parents about students’ growth, rather than a single lengthy end-of-year assessment that halts learning and leaves zero opportunity for improvement; and
- Reducing testing time an average of 75% through progress monitoring, increasing time for teaching and providing more timely, usable feedback to help students reach their unique goals.
Below are more facts about the differences between the FSA and the F.A.S.T. Plan. For more information about the F.A.S.T. plan, visit https://www.fldoe.org/fast/.