Sen. Flores, Rep. Diaz and Rep. Sprowls Unveil “Fewer, Better Tests” Legislation

Sen. Flores, Rep. Diaz and Rep. Sprowls Unveil “Fewer, Better Tests” Legislation

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Senator Anitere Flores, Representative Manny Diaz, Jr. and Representative Chris Sprowls unveiled legislation for improving and enhancing Florida’s statewide assessments.

Senate Bill 926 and House Bill 773 would provide teachers with more time for teaching by moving Florida’s statewide assessments to the end of the school year; increase transparency by providing teachers and parents with easy-to-understand and actionable student score reports, and ensure teachers receive timely results from local assessments to help inform classroom instruction.

“Parents want actionable information on how they can help their child succeed,” said Senator Anitere Flores

“This legislation enhances statewide assessments so that they become a valuable tool for both parents and teachers, providing easy-to-understand information on a student’s strengths and areas for improvement."

Senate Bill 926 and House Bill 773 include the following provisions:

  • Gives teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn by moving the statewide assessment to the end of the school year.
  • Ensures parents receive easy-to-understand student score reports with actionable information to help their child.
  • Ensures teachers receive student state assessment score reports for all current and incoming students.
  • Provides teachers with local assessment results within one week so that they can use the results to tailor instruction during the current school year.
  • Authorizes the Florida Department of Education to make achievement level 3 mean that a student is proficient and able to succeed in the next grade.
  • Requires the Florida Commissioner of Education to conduct an independent review of national assessments (SAT, ACT) to determine level of alignment to Florida standards.

“Moving the assessment back and delivering valuable information on student progression to parents and teachers is an important way to improve student achievement,” said Representative Manny Diaz, Jr.

“This legislation continues Florida’s tradition of maintaining a robust educational accountability system and it gives teachers more time to teach and students more time to learn. That’s a winning combination,” said Representative Chris Sprowls.

Policy recommendations included in the legislation received overwhelming support through a statewide survey of more than 400 Florida K-12 teachers and 400 Florida parents:
  • 81 percent of teachers and 82 percent of parents agreed that moving statewide, standardized tests to the last three weeks of the school year will give teachers more time to teach;
  • 87 percent of Florida teachers surveyed said that receiving copies of the state assessment results for both their current and incoming students would help them prepare instruction tailored to each student; and
  • 86 percent of Florida parents surveyed believe it is important for student score reports to provide “clear identification of a child’s areas of strengths and those needing improvement.”
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