Leon County Superintendent Says Over Testing Needs to Stop

School Testing
Posted at 10:15 PM, Sep 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-01 18:36:35-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - The Florida Department of Education has released a study, claiming that the Florida Standards Assessment test (FSA) is a valid testing tool.

However, despite the department's claim that the test is valid, Leon County School officials are now saying the review of the FSA confirms the test is problematic.

The test, which replaced the FCAT in spring 2015, is supposed to be used to evaluate teachers and grade schools.

However, reports of glitches in the test were widespread last spring, as students attempted to take the new assessment.

Cyber hacks and crashed servers were blamed for the failures at the time, leading many to question the accuracy of the tests. A third-party firm, Alpine Testing Solutions, reviewed the exam and found the results can accurately be used going forward.

Leon County Schools addressed their concerns Tuesday, saying the study shows the test displayed large-scale state assessment administration problems, and that as many as one-third of test items did not match intended Florida standards. Superintendent Jackie Pons says the test has its problems: "The study confirms that students who tested on the computer based test were not able to demonstrate their content knowledge and skills. I think that's one of the most important items from this is that some of the students who tested didn't get to show in simple terms what they had learned during the school year."

Pons has decided that county teacher evaluations will not be punitively affected by the FSA, students will not be retained solely based on the 2014-15 FSA, and that the 2014-15 FSA math end-of-course exams will not negatively impact students or their course grades.