Testing So Schools Can Better Teach

Monday, September 17, 2012

As states across the country move toward a systemic revamping of their educational assessment programs, while embracing significantly higher standards through Common Core State Standards (CCSS), it is a good time to evaluate how states use learning assessments and whether they can be better transformed as teaching and learning tools.

In addition to Florida's FCAT, end-of-course exams, new CCSS assessments and the implementation of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) are all being added to the student-achievement formula. This is going to take a concerted effort to coordinate parents, teachers, administrators and policy makers to make sure all are ready for higher expectations of learning.

Florida has shown great gains in measures of educational assessment since the 1990s. Much of this is due to the implementation of assessment mechanisms: the testing of our students along common measurements. However, according to the latest ACT results, only 25 percent of students are proficient in all four core subjects — math, science, reading and English.

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