FSA exams begin soon, but will it count?

Last week, Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced that there was a possibility that state testing scores could be waived due to the unprecedented school year students have experienced. However, with FSA testing set to begin Monday, there is still a lot of uncertainty about how much weight the scores will hold.

Whether students chose to learn in person, through e-learning, or a mix of both, the school year has been challenging and unprecedented. Because of this, many teachers and parents alike are concerned about what all this could mean for testing scores. During a typical year, scores would be a determining factor for advancement, graduation rates, teacher salaries, school funding, and more.

During a news conference last week, Corcoran stated the U.S. Department of Education is allowing states to request a waiver that would do away with the accountability requirements of standardized testing, like the FSA. 

They already know test scores are going to be low, but at a press conference Wednesday, the education commissioner stressed once again why the scores are so important to gauging where their students are at and what the next steps should be.  

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"Whether it’s an enhanced summer program, enhanced rising VPK kids that we do over the summer, wrap-around services before and after school, we need that measurement. What we do with that measurement after we do it, we’ve always said, from the beginning of the pandemic we’ve said that we’re going to lead with compassion and grace, and so, we’re going to take care of our students," said Corcoran. 

When asked specifically when a more concrete announcement will come regarding whether those test scores will be waived, the education commissioner and Governor Ron Desantis responded that an answer is "forthcoming" and "imminent."

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But the clock is ticking. Come Monday, FSA tests will get underway. 

Third grade will begin their language arts and reading testing, and grades four through 10 will kick off the writing portion of their exams. The rest of the tests not set to begin until the start of May.