Monday, September 1, 2014

A Florida County opts out of ALL state tests | Seattle Education

A Florida County opts out of ALL state tests | Seattle Education:

A Florida County opts out of ALL state tests

Another good piece of news from Valerie Strauss.
Florida’s Lee County became  on Wednesday night the first school district in the state to vote to opt out of all state-mandated testing, including exams that are being designed to assess student knowledge of new state standards based on the Common Core.
The Board of Education voted 3 to 2 in favor of opting out — despite the fact that the state can penalize the county for the decision — as anti-testing activists in the audience cheered. Board member Don Armstrong, who supported the testing boycott, said the vote was meant to send “a strong message” to state education officials in Tallahassee that county officials are tired of being told how to run their school system. He said:
“It’s an act of civil disobedience. We stood up for what we thought was right.”
The district’s superintendent, Nancy Graham, was  unenthusiastic, saying she believes the decision will “hurt children,” the News-Press reported. But Armstrong said it was Graham’s job to implement policy as set by the board. “Now it is up to her to adhere to it,” he said.
The pushback from Lee County — the ninth-largest district in the state and the 37th largest in the country, with more than 85,000 students –  is striking in a state that has been at the forefront of standardized test-based “accountability” systems that use student test scores to evaluate not only kids but their teachers, principals, schools and districts. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush was a pioneer in test-based accountability and he continues to support it around the country, even amid a growing revoltaround the country by parents and educators against test-based school reform, which has led to narrowed curriculum, obsessive test preparation and other negative consequences. Reformers have insisted that test scores are a legitimate high-stakes evaluation tool, even though assessment experts have repeatedly said otherwise.
The Lee County school board voted to opt public schools out of all state-mandated testing. That includes standardized tests that will assess the new Sunshine State A Florida County opts out of ALL state tests | Seattle Education:

Another one bites the dust: Durham is dropping Teach for America
Recently I posted Listen up Seattle: Teach for America was kicked out of Pittsburgh. Now it looks like the domino effect is beginning to happen. Seattle needs to be next. From Valerie Strauss’ blog the Answer Sheet: Why One School System is Dropping Teach for America The school board in Durham, N.C., has voted 6-1 to […]
“Pre-School for All” in Seattle, student information sharing, Jump Start and more
  I have written two posts on Universal pre-K which in Seattle is now termed “Preschool for All”; Race to the Tots: Universal (for profit) Pre-K, DFER and the suits and  Universal Pre-K in Seattle: Reasons to be cautious.Now it’s time to look more closely at the two initiatives that will be on the ballot in November […]