This is an unexpected part four to a three-part series about Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis’s proposal to replace FSA testing with state-mandated progress monitoring tests. Part One: Warp Speed, Mozart, and Page Not Found, Part Two: Warp Speed, Mozart, and …, and Part Three: Warp Speed … comprised the series until today.

Among us older types, Boomers et al., Seinfeld was must-see-TV in the 1990s. So many enduring jokes and tropes came out of the series. One of the most famous was George getting dissed as he scarfed down a bowl of huge shrimp:

Sorry, George, but Jerk Store doesn’t begin to cover what Floridians have to suffer.

Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida, has released a proposal to end annual, which is to say once-a-year testing, in Florida’s schools. While questions abound as to how much testing is going to be replaced with more-often, three-times-a-year progress monitoring … such as:

  • Will the End-of-Course exams in Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology, U.S. History, Civics, and the new U.S. Government test also be replaced?
  • How will the progress monitoring assessment results be used in accountability for schools & districts (grading law), teachers (evaluation law), and graduation (student law)?
  • What company will run the platform for the assessment? Who will develop it? Who will own the questions?
  • How will the new progress monitoring tests impact Florida’s law regarding the closure of schools that do not score high enough on the tests?

One thing is clear. The Governor cannot change Florida law and its testing requirements by fiat. These testing changes require action by the legislature and passage of new laws to change the mandated testing.

The screen shot is from the fsassessments.org website. Click on FSA, Students and Families, Practice Tests and you will find it.

Thus, it is very interesting that Florida is already implementing this new ‘Adaptive Progress Monitoring.’

The screen shot shows you that Florida’s current testing platform, run by Cambium Learning Group, already has a practice test up for the math and reading tests pictured.

So, question number one seems to be answered. The new APM applies only to the reading and math tests for grade levels 3 to 10 and 3 to 8, respectively. End of Course exams will not be affected.

But it goes further than that. Grumpy Old Teacher has been administering retake exams for Algebra 1 and 10th grade Reading these past two weeks. On the operational side, the same tests show up. Yes, you read that right. Somewhere in Florida, schools are already administering the APM tests.

Because Grumpy Old Teacher’s (GOT) school has not been notified to do so, GOT assumes that the state is field testing the new idea with a sample of selected schools. Even without the legislature meeting and passing a new law, the Governor and his henchman, Ed Commissioner Richard Corcoran, are moving ahead with the change.

Hey, Ron! Hey, Rich! Florida called. We want our Constitution back.

UPDATE: Apparently, GOT is getting ahead of the actual story. The APM that is found on the testing platform was implemented last year as a free service for Florida districts needing to do ‘robust progress monitoring’ and needing the assist to meet the FLDOE emergency order requiring the same.

Of course, that is what gave DeSantis and Corcoran the idea in the first place.

And it will be a good starting point for what they have in mind.

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