Florida considers letting kids pass regardless of state testing scores

Studies show students nationwide have learned less this school year, relative to other years, because of the pandemic.

Now some Florida lawmakers are considering whether there should be options for parents and students to minimize the impacts, long-term.

One proposal would throw out certain test scores and cancel school grades.

Another proposal the state is considering would allow parents to have their children repeat a grade in elementary or middle school. If that bill passes parents would have until June 30 to make their request to the school district.

If you ask the parents around Tampa Bay, many will tell you this has been a lost school year.

"I think this year’s done," says Joseph Gonzales, whose children are in middle school and high school. "We can’t do anything about it. Hopefully, they’ll be able to recoup next year." 

Others believe they can salvage the year.

"We transitioned back into face-to-face learning and it’s smooth sailing," says Jenny Borders, an educator and mother of four.

She says it’s been challenging at times. They had to quarantine because her children were in proximity of others who were infected with COVID-19.

A bill in the legislature would eliminate the use of FSA test scores to keep third graders from being promoted or keep a high school student from graduating. 

Students would still be required to take the statewide assessment tests and school districts are being given two extra weeks to administer them.

Homeschoolers and e-learners have to go into their zone schools to take the tests. The scores could reveal additional evidence about the effects of the pandemic on education. 

One report prepared by the McKinsey & Company consulting firm found, on average, students nationwide are expected to lose five to nine months of learning by the end of the school year.  

How will schools get them to the next grade?

"Water everything down, they’re going to have to," says Gonzalez.