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Leon County educators applaud Gov. DeSantis’ decision to eliminate standardized testing

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 8:36 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Governor Ron DeSantis announced at a press conference on Tuesday that the state will completely eliminate standardized testing, starting in the 2022 school year.

Florida schools will transition to a “progress monitoring system,” DeSantis explained, that will replace the traditional one big high-pressure test at the end of the school year with three shorter tests in the Fall, Winter and Spring. Administrators say this will reduce pressure on students and allow teachers more flexibility in tailoring their curriculums to fit students’ needs.

Leon County educators and administrators are applauding Governor DeSantis’ decision to eliminate standardized testing in Florida.

“The bottom line is, teachers are gonna teach. The question is, what is it that we’re gonna focus on? Learning or testing?” said Leon Classroom Teachers Association President Scott Mazur.

When asked about the standardized testing, Superintendent of Leon County Schools Rocky Hanna, said, “I just don’t think it’s healthy for our kids. If you’re dedicating the entire month of April and made a testing, there’s not a lot of learning that’s going on because we’ve shut the school down, just to accommodate for that one single test.”

Under DeSantis’ new legislative proposal, schools will instead use a system of progress monitoring to evaluate student performance throughout the year.

“If you look at what we’re doing, this is gonna be more student friendly, more teacher friendly and more parent friendly,” said DeSantis.

The governor says under this new system, students will spend 75% less time time testing, leaving more time for learning.

“I think progress monitoring throughout the course of the year periodically is going to serve our school districts in our state much better than a single standardized test,” said Hanna.

Under the current system, elementary schools in Leon County are evaluated solely based on their performance on the Florida Standards Assessment, meaning schools that don’t perform well get less funding. Superintendent Hanna hopes the new system will make things more equitable.

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