So, much to the surprise of few, the new Florida State Assessment exams, delivered via computer, do not work. Most school districts in the state of Florida opened the testing season with the FSA Writing Exam for grades 4-10, with tests for grades 6-10 delivered via computer-based test. It crashed and burned in many districts. Out of 67 districts in the state, 35 reported issues with the test. Two of the largest districts have actually postponed testing on Tuesday because there were so many issues. In my county, Citrus, we had issues at 2 of our 3 high schools. Our 3rd high school and our middle schools will not begin testing until next week. The issues ranged from the FSA Secure Browser crashing when students were simply trying to delete text by using the backspace key to kids getting kicked out of their exam and unable to sign back in with an error message of, something like, “unable to access the content at this time.”
We all knew these tests were going to fail. During our infrastructure trials we experienced many different issues, all of which were reported to the testing company, American Institutes For Research (AIR) and to the state of Florida Department of Education. AIR is a “non-profit” with total assets worth $260,633,000 (FY ending 2013) and whose CEO earns well into the millions each year. Despite all of these reported issues reported statewide, the state decided that this writing test was so important that we needed to move forward anyway.
Shame on our state politicians for pushing this garbage through and forcing the school districts to disrupt instructional time. Shame of our state politicians for caring so little about the children of this State of Florida by putting unnecessary pressure on these kids. Shame on our state politicians Shame on our state politicians for basing 50% of teacher evaluations on tests that do not work and prove nothing with regards to student achievement.
Feel free to let our state politicians know what we think of this fiasco.