By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced that they are crafting legislation for the upcoming legislative session to do away with the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA).

Speaking at the Doral Academy Preparatory School on Tuesday, the governor said the 2021-2022 school year will be the last for the FSA.

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“We also have to recognize that it is the year 2021 and the FSA is quite frankly, outdated. It takes days to administer, leaving less time for student learning. It is not customizable to each student, which we do have the capability now with algorithms to do, it fails to provide timely information to parents, which as we know is very critical that that information be provided for them. It’s also too late for the modification of instruction, you take major tests at the end of the year, you get the results after the school year, so you can’t go back and fix that. So we are going to be ending that,” he said.

DeSantis said they will be replacing it with progress monitoring which many school districts are doing.

“This is short individualized check-in assessments three times per year. This will take hours not days to be able to do these assessments. It has three different opportunities, fall, winter, and spring to be able to check in on growth. There’ll be 75 percent less time for testing, which will mean more time for learning. It also informs teachers in real-time during the school year, so they can better help students,” said DeSantis.

The governor said the progress monitoring tools will be customizable and will even be unique to each student.

“We believe that having results monitored and measured is very, very important. But we also think that the FSA is outmoded at this point and that we need to move forward with a more, I’d say, nimble and effective approach. So this will be the last school year in terms of the FSA,” said DeSantis.

“I do agree and I concur with the Governor and the Commissioner that there are better ways of assessing students rather than relying on one single end-of-the-year assessment that is all inclusive. Obviously we are going to be very attentive to legislative processes that will bring to the state appropriate replacements for these assessments,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

The United Teachers of Dade issued a statement applauding the ending of the FSA.

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“For 20 years, we have underscored the harmful effect that mandated tests have had on our students and educators’ ability to teach students in a rich and meaningful way. We are glad that the Florida Department of Education has finally listened to the recommendations of education experts and concerned parents and has chosen to eliminate the FSA. Our educators have always provided progress monitoring and that effort should have always been supported. Welcome to holistic education.”

The governor said the 2022-2022 school year will set the baseline for progress monitoring. After that, the results will determine grades.

“So I think that this is something that will make a really, really big difference. I think it’ll be something that’s very friendly to parents, I think it’ll be something that the teachers will appreciate because they’ll be able to make adjustments and really focus on the unique needs of each individual student,” said DeSantis.

“Progress monitoring has led to significant improvements in my class and better student success,” said teacher Sarah Hall

“This is a huge win for the school system because right now you have days in April and May where schools are shut down for testing,” said State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran.

Alexandra Alonzo, the mother of a 5th-grade student at the Doral Academy Preparatory School, told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “As a parent, I have seen the pressure and the stress that students experience due to year-long preparation for the FSA.”

Zachary Naranjo, a 6th-grade student at the school, said “FSA testing is stressful. It is stressful because with everything you learn, at the end of the year you might not remember it all for the testing.”

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DeSantis said passage of the progress monitoring measure will be one of the top priorities in the upcoming legislative session and he thought there would be a lot of support for it. Team