The Florida Department of Education has issued new restrictions about what a test proctor may do before, during, and after administering the FSA suite of test assessments, including grade level math and reading tests as well as End-of-Course exams.

Page 30 of the Spring 2020 manual.

Clear as mud according to social media chatter of the last three days. Exactly what do they mean by this? Time for a long read through the testing manual.

Here’s a gem for students and parents. Pay attention to the penultimate statement; FLDOE wants to be clear that their dire threats about discussing the test does not extend to a parent’s conversation with their child:

Why we do seating charts: flagged tests can be appealed
if the students were not sitting next to one another.

Here’s a tidbit worthy of pondering. Why do we have an Algebra 1 first-time test and a separate Algebra 1 retake test? Given the draconian consequences for a student who cannot pass the Algebra 1 test (no diploma), is the retake test ‘dumbed down,’ (apologies to struggling students, GOT is not disrespecting you but the phrase gets across the idea) to keep too many students from failing to graduate because the political pressure would be too much for Florida’s politicians to bear?

Accountabaloney, this one’s for you.
We kinda noticed.
Jail is no excuse for avoiding the test. We even force dying kids to undergo testing.
If you were wondering about whether Florida distinguishes between private and public school obligations, but maybe Jason Gabriel can help out here because he opined that sometimes ‘shall’ means ‘may.’ Maybe we can reverse that to say the ‘may’ means ‘shall.’
Sorry, Mom, but you had to teach your child yourself. Parking them in front of the computer to do virtual school? They gotta be tested.
The clock is ticking. About 10 days left except for FSA ELA. Writing is done in early April.
GOT would call this the Pam Stewart law.
And we were looking at page 30. What new mischief is this?
So some student encouragement is allowed because denying recess is not enough, let’s have them doing practice tests at home when they would rather socialize with their peers.
Why does a teacher need to do this if they are not allowed to encourage students to finish or wake them up if they stop testing? And how does a teacher comply with the last sentence if they comply with the first?
More permissible student encouragement. You can’t say, “Finish the test. I know you can do it.” But you can say, “Reread the item, you probably didn’t get it the first time.”

From this point, we move into the scripts for each test. Since they tend to be the same except for necessary customization (for example, ear bud tests for reading; calculator for math), GOT is skipping ahead to his particular script for Geometry EOC. If you want to read the manual for yourself, you can find it at fsassessments.org or click the embedded link.

Surprised districts haven’t picked up on this one.

How to provide accommodations is covered in detail. Here’s an example for when a student may have the directions read aloud:

Not a new requirement, but an explicit clarification.
Don’t do this.
But you can do this. Got it?
Math, we’re not leaving you out. But you’d better be sure you describe that graphic correctly and not tip off the answer.
What teachers have to sign.

That’s enough for now. GOT will post further results from his investigation such as new training videos or FLDOE statements. He would like to conclude with a popular song (well, in his day) about sheriffs, but is afraid someone would miss the joke and take it as a threat.

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