Miami-Dade & Broward Suspend New Assessment Test

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With computer glitches galore reported in the new Florida Standards Assessments tests (FSA), both Miami-Dade and Broward schools have cancelled computer based testing for Tuesday.

As testing got underway,  several districts reported problems.  While some schools were not able to log into the online system, others that got on found it very difficult to proceed.

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Parents in Miami-Dade received this voice mail from schools superintendent Alberto Carvalho on Monday night.

“Until the state can provide our school system with assurances on the stability of the testing environment for this assessment, specifically for the writing assessment, we are suspending computer based testing for students in these grades,” Carvalho said on the voicemail.

Daisy Gonzalez-Diego with Miami-Dade Schools, on Monday afternoon, put out a statement that read; “MDCPS is suspending computer based testing of students in grades 8-10 until FLDOE can give us assurances of the stability of the testing environment.  This is out of respect for teachers, students and parents…”

Nadine Drew with Broward County Public Schools released a statement that said in part, “Based on recommendations from the state, Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) suspended further testing for today (Monday, March 2). During a phone conference this afternoon, Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart advised district superintendents that the Department would provide districts with more information and next steps by 7 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday, March 3). As a result, BCPS is suspending Computer-Based Testing on Tuesday (March 3).”

Broward and Miami-Dade weren’t the only districts to have problems. The school districts in Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Okaloosa counties also reported problems with the online platform. In Palm Beach County, students who were able to log on and begin testing Monday morning were allowed to continue. Schools who could not log on were told to cancel the tests for the day.

“While many students across our state are testing successfully, we have heard from some districts that are experiencing difficulties,” said Dept. of Education spokeswoman Cheryl Etters in a statement. “This is a 90-minute test; students have a two-week window, plus a makeup window, to complete the test. Commissioner Stewart is looking into any reported issues to determine the cause and will work to immediately resolve it.”

The new tests, which were developed after adopting new education standards, replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCATs).

Beginning Monday, students in grades four through 10 will take the writing portion of the FSA. Later this month, they will take the English language arts and math portions.

At least that was the initial plan.

The FSA test is based on new standards drawn primarily from Common Core standards.

One person who is not in favor of the test is Miami-Dade school superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who tweeted the following message to students on Monday morning:

https://twitter.com/MiamiSup/status/572376811671187457

Carvalho will be visiting schools across the county on Monday to meet with teachers and students.

When the FSA was field tested in Utah, more than half of the students failed. Officials said the students struggled because the new standards are much harder.

Those who fail the FSA will other options to be promoted to the next grade.

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