On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a legislative proposal that will eliminate the Common-Core based, end-of-year Florida Statewide Assessment (FSA) and create the new Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (F.A.S.T) plan, which will monitor student progress and foster individual growth.
By creating the F.A.S.T. Plan, Florida will become the first state in the nation to fully implement progress monitoring instead of end-of-year standardized testing, and fully eliminate Common Core.
“Florida’s education focus should be students’ growth and how we restore the conversation between parents and teachers in support of students’ growth,” DeSantis said on Tuesday. “In this final step to eradicate Common Core from our assessments, our administration is implementing the lessons learned from progress monitoring both during the state’s recovery and from our districts and schools that were already showing how we can better support students reaching their own unique growth goals.”
DeSantis made this announcement with Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and was joined by several teachers and students from High Point Elementary School who have already used the progress monitoring approach. This school, where every student is considered to come from an economically disadvantaged family, used progress monitoring tools throughout the 2020-2021 school year to make actionable decisions in real time. During the Winter progress monitoring, the data reflected that High Point was on track to earn a D as a school. After reviewing the data, the leadership team and coaches pivoted their priorities as teachers and coaches used progress monitoring for each standard to track the students’ growth. After working tirelessly throughout the school year to support the most vulnerable students, High Point Elementary was able to improve their grade from a D to a C and exit turnaround.
“Each year, Governor DeSantis’ administration has been committed to a data-driven approach to constantly improving how Florida provides supports to its teachers and turns the focus of education to how we impact our students, especially those representing achievement gaps,” said Corcoran. “We started by creating more flexible pathways to teacher certifications, elevating the profession through massively increasing minimum compensation, providing relief to our teachers who kept education going throughout our recovery and across-the-board increasing our focus on professional development and instructional supports. Florida is now taking the next great step – using what many districts and schools have already proven to be true – that progress monitoring is a school accountability system that puts great information in the hands of our teachers, early and meaningfully, so they can drive students’ growth.”