Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Ending High-Stakes Testing in Florida Schools

On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law which “officially replaces the Florida Standards Assessment with progress monitoring to measure students’ growth” and “makes Florida the first state in the nation to transition fully to progress-monitoring for school accountability.”

DeSantis signed the bill from state Sen. Manny Diaz, R-Hialeah Gardens, and state Rep. Rene Plasencia, R-Orlando.

“Beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, Florida students will have three short check-ins instead of multi-day, end-of-year, high-stakes tests for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Progress monitoring will benefit students, teachers and parents by allowing for informed instruction in a timely manner, helping instruction to be tailored to each student’s individual needs,” the governor’s office noted.

“While much of the country has struggled to even open schools, Florida’s education leaders are continuing to push ahead and better help students, parents and teachers to close achievement gaps,” said DeSantis. “In three years, we have eliminated Common Core, invested approximately $2 billion to increase teacher pay, focused on literacy and created civic standards that empower our students to become great citizens. By signing this bill, we are setting an example for the nation.”

The bill passed the Senate on a 38-0 vote at the start of the month and the House on a 83-31 vote last week.

“This great legislation addresses concerns we have heard from parents and teachers about the kinds of high-stakes testing we have in our schools,” said state Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Tribly. “Testing is an important accountability tool for schools, teachers and students, but it doesn’t do much good to wait until the end of the year to find out a student has been having trouble. Transitioning to progress monitoring will provide more timely information about how students are doing throughout the school year so that any struggles can be addressed quickly.”

“Even while Florida is ranked third in the nation in student achievement, we refuse to stop there and simply maintain status quo because Florida kids and families deserve the best,” said state House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor. “This bill is about parents and kids — taking away the stress of a one-size-fits all test, giving each student a chance to succeed as an individual and empowering parents with the knowledge they need to help their kids reach their greatest potential.”

“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his leadership. I am proud of the work we have done with SB 1048. Progress monitoring is going to help drive instruction and keep parents informed in real time,” said Diaz. “We should know how the students are doing and we should be able to provide opportunities for acceleration while reducing testing time in the process.”

“As a public school teacher who dedicated the greater part of my adult life to making sure our kids receive the best education possible, it has been an honor to now work as a legislator alongside our governor, the DOE and Senator Diaz on this groundbreaking legislation,” said Plasencia. “This bill is the first step in streamlining and reducing test time in the classroom. Being able to work on this bill is the reason why I ran for office.”

“January 31, 2019, via EO 19-32, Governor DeSantis gave me clear direction to eliminate Common Core, create the best standards in the nation, elevate the quality of our curriculum, streamline testing, make Florida #1 in civics education, identify pathways to become the most literate state in the nation and most importantly in all things reflect on how students, parents and teachers interact,” said state Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “As a father of six, I know education will reach its pinnacle when we inform and empower those conversations between students, parents and teachers, and with this legislation we hit a home run. Hands down, we have the most pro-student, pro-parent and pro-teacher governor in the nation.”

Kevin Derby
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