NICEVILLE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by First Lady Casey DeSantis, Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers, and teachers and parents of children in Okaloosa County Schools to discuss Florida’s transition from the FSA to progress monitoring.
“In Florida we have had the FSA for many years, a lot of effort goes into this test each year, both on the actual test and the preparation for it,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Over the past few years, we have been able to expand our ability to use modern tools to measure progress and achievement, while also course correcting where individual students may need additional support. With the FSA, if a student is struggling, the school year is already over, and you cannot modify instruction to meet that student’s needs. With progress monitoring, you have streamlined periodic assessments, which will be more student, parent, and teacher friendly while reducing test time by 75 percent.”
“I was proud to join the Governor again today as we move to new heights for education in our state,” said Commissioner Richard Corcoran. “We’re in 2021, we have algorithms for everything under the sun; as the Governor says, certainly we can be smarter, faster and more efficient. We have everything we need for accountability, but we can do it in 75 percent less time. Our accountability system is number 1 in the country, but we asked ourselves how do you protect that level of accountability while getting smarter and more efficient, and do something to benefit parents, teachers and school children? The answer is you get rid of the FSA and move to a much more streamlined system.”
“This is something that is welcome, and something that is needed,” said Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools Marcus Chambers. “Here in Okaloosa, we’ve been proponents of progress monitoring and will continue to do so. For us, progress monitoring helps us drive instruction, it helps us with professional development, and it helps us make sure the initiatives we put in place are things that will really make a difference in the lives of kids. To be able to have progress monitoring along the way is a game changer. We are not waiting until the end of the year, we are not waiting until the end of the semester, we will be able to make adjustments in real time.”
“With progress monitoring, it’s going to give us the opportunity to meet our students where they are and not expect them to just come in with certain standards,” said Jessica Landry, 5th Grade Teacher at Plew Elementary School and Okaloosa County Teacher of the Year. “In my classroom I’ve been able to use progress monitoring in the past to individualize my instruction. I’ve been able to intervene for students who need more support. This is a step in the right direction.”
“As a parent, first and foremost my kids are the absolute priority,” said Catherine Card, mother of two children in Okaloosa County schools. “When my daughter was doing extremely well in math, her teacher recognized this, and put her in a higher math class. She really appreciates having this opportunity to feel challenged and have real tools to succeed. Progress monitoring, it makes sense. It’s a win-win, whether your child is doing really well or needs some help getting back on track.”
“One of my sons was doing very well in math, and progress monitoring was able to capture that so he wouldn’t be in classes he doesn’t need to be in and can be challenged,” said Kayra Donahoo, mother of five children. “With my high school kids, progress monitoring has been able to say, ‘This child is not where they need to be,’ so [it helps us identify] how can we work together and get that child where he needs to be and point out where the struggle is coming from. As a parent, progress monitoring gives us a starting point to build upon and work together with teachers.”
Last week, Governor DeSantis announced a legislative proposal that will eliminate the common-core based, end-of-year Florida Statewide Assessment (FSA) and create the new Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (F.A.S.T.) plan, which will monitor student progress and foster individual growth. By creating the F.A.S.T. Plan, Florida will become the first state in the nation to fully implement progress monitoring instead of end-of-year standardized testing, and fully eliminate common core. Read more about that announcement here.