Florida’s Governor DeSantis just announced the end of the Florida State Assessment (FSA), and many Floridians are thrilled, just thrilled, thinking this will be the end of the horrible testing cloud that has hovered over children since NCLB. And they’re being led to believe that Common Core is done, but they’re still using iReady and IXL built and aligned to Common Core!
Don’t be fooled! This isn’t an end to testing or Common Core, but an evolution to embedded online assessment, Competency-Based Education (CBE), and one step closer to eliminating teachers in the classroom. Common Core was meant for this.
Every keystroke is a data point. Every piece of data is stored and provides a lasting online footprint of a child, their accomplishments, and failures. Who’ll be sorting that data and making determinations about how children should progress?
Someone praised this move as one that won’t require so many teachers to administer tests. Something good since so many teachers have left during the pandemic. Really?
Some Opt-Out activists saw that DeSantis’s announcement was too good to be true. See Fund Education Now for critical questions.
Are they ending third-grade retention? Who wrote these new objectives? F.A.S.T. also states that it will use the results to give schools two opportunities to improve. What will they do if students don’t improve? Fire the teachers? Shut down the school? They’re still punitively monitoring teachers and schools.
The Governor is leading Floridians on. And other Governors who will soon be announcing something similar will be leading their citizens on too.
Converting state assessment tests to embedded online mastery tests, or CBE is sadly the natural corporate step forward in the march to all online instruction, including nonstop high-stakes testing.
This transformation has been percolating for years. Here’s how.
- High-stakes standards removed teachers from decision-making in their classrooms.
- Teachers have had to teach material aligned to the standards if they want their students to pass the tests and get their own good evaluations.
- That material has been found in the form of direct instruction, manuals, or computer programs.
- Direct instruction is easily converted to online programs where no teacher is required.
- Online questions align with the tests, and teachers stand by as facilitators with a reduced role.
- Students read the information and peck at the right or wrong answer online.
- Data is collected on the student as they work on their own at the computer.
The future of CBE will be built on the work innovative schools and organizations are doing today.
Here’s a list of groups on board for CBE.
- American Institutes for Research
- American Youth Policy Forum
- Center for Assessment
- Center for Collaborative Education
- Center for Secondary School Redesign (CSSR)
- Clayton Christensen Institute
- Competency-Based Education Network
- Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
- Council of Chief State Schools Officers (CCSSO)
- Digital Promise
- Ed-Fi Alliance
- Education Elements
- Foundation for Excellence in Education
- IMS Global (which includes Badge Alliance)
- Marzano Research Laboratory
- Mastery Transcript Consortium
- National Association of State Boards of Education
- National Center for Innovation in Education (CIE)
- National Governors Association
- REL Northwest
- Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education
- The Colorado Education Initiative
- The Institute for Personalized Learning
- The Learning Accelerator
The Governor also leads his Republican constituents to believe that Common Core is no longer in Florida. But many schools use online programs like iReady, which involve objectives aligned to Common Core, even though iReady no longer advertises Common Core on its main website.
Built for the Common Core and also correlated to state standards, i-Ready prepares students for the rigor of the CCSS and helps them to succeed on state assessments. Through real-time reporting, it allows educators to track how students are performing against each standard and whether or not they need further remediation or enrichment.
There are hints in the governor’s proclamation as to what’s really happening with student assessment.
The governor called the FSA test ineffective and said it takes days to administer and cannot be personalized.
Personalized means online learning.
Instead, he says it will be replaced by progress monitoring three times per year with shorter tests, which he says can be administered in hours. The new program, the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (F.A.S.T) plan will monitor student progress and foster individual growth, according to DeSantis.
F.A.S.T. will monitor student progress.
. . . progress monitoring tools to track the students’ growth.
This is ongoing testing that will lead to students working anyplace, anytime, and eventually without schools. Or with cyber charter schools run by outside companies, like those getting contracts during the pandemic.
Teachers and parents need to be careful signing on to this. It isn’t what it seems. It’s all about online learning. Teachers not included.