Florida Moves To End FSA Testing: What's Next?

While most are excited to see the change, legislation to end FSA testing in Florida may not come for weeks or even months

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Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Tuesday that he will ask the state legislature to drop the Florida Standards Assessment in public schools and replace it with progress monitoring three times a year, calling the FSA "outdated."

“We need to measure results, we will continue to do it. We will continue to set high standards, but we also have to recognize that it is the year 2021 and the FSA is, quite frankly, outdated,” DeSantis said at a news conference in Miami-Dade County.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announces legislation to eliminate Florida Standard Assessment testing in schools.

The moved was cheered by Republicans and Democrats alike, making this a rare bipartisan victory. "It's about time," Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said in a tweet.

But the devil is in the details, according to Laura Dinehart, Dean of the School of Education and Human Development at FIU.

"We're all waiting to see what that looks like so that we don't just have actually more testing happening," Dinehart said, "and making sure that it's not as high stakes as it has been historically."

Educators and parents alike have been sounding the alarm about the stress and anxiety the tests create in children.

"We know that students struggle with it. We know that there are students who are really, really great students, bright students who may not do so well on a standardized test," she said.

While most are excited to see the change, legislation may not come for weeks or even months. Dinehart said parents and educators should stay vigilant as details of the program begin to roll out.

"We get very excited about this idea of not having high stakes testing anymore, not dealing with the FSA," Dinehart said. "My daughter would have stomach cramps before heading to school as a third grader because she had to take this test that she knew was a big test and now we we want to know what the other side of it is."

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