testing

Matias Ocner / WLRN

The student survivors of the Parkland shooting might get a break from this year’s state exams.

The Florida Senate on Monday passed House Bill 7055, a controversial education bill that is a major priority of House Speaker Richard Corcoran, in a 20-17 vote. But first, the chamber amended the bill to include a little help for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students.

This week and next is a national rite of passage for stressed-out overachievers everywhere. Nearly 3 million high school students at 22,000 high schools will be sitting down to take their Advanced Placement exams.

Created by the nonprofit College Board in the 1950s, AP is to other high school courses what Whole Foods is to other supermarkets: a mark of the aspirational, a promise of higher standards and, occasionally, a more expensive alternative.

There are many qualities of a great teacher. Two big ones? Kindness and a willingess to make learning fun. At least that's what Marlem Diaz-Brown's fourth-graders say.

For our 50 Great Teachers project, we've searched all over for teachers like her. Which brought us to Sunset Elementary School in Miami ... and "Mrs. D-B."

Florida school districts received the first round of test results from the Florida Standards Assessments this week.

The results show what percentage of students in each district scored within each quartile of all Florida students taking the exams. Parents can expect more detailed scores for their students in October.

gonzalewis / Flickr

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle raised sharp questions Thursday about a study that Florida Department of Education officials say validated the state's controversial new standardized test for public-school students.

Members of the Senate Education Pre-K-12 Committee reviewed the study of the Florida Standards Assessment, as the new test is called, and suggested that the department had portrayed the report's conclusions in an overly optimistic light and wondered whether teacher evaluations and school grades should be tied to the exam.

ivydawned / Flickr

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has closed its six-month  investigation into a cyber attack during Florida Standards Assessments testing this spring.

The agency isn't saying who tried to shut down testing by overloading servers or why. But law enforcement officials said no personal student data was accessed during the attack.

FDLE said it  found that more than 29,000 Internet addresses were used to swamp servers run by test contractor American Institutes for Research. Some of the addresses were in the U.S., but most were believed to be foreign.

Florida Statewide Student Testing Called Valid

Sep 1, 2015
Florida Department of Education / Flickr

 

A review of Florida's new statewide test has found the exam is valid and the results can be used to judge teacher and school performance, the Florida Department of Education announced.

But the review also found that after problems with computerized testing, "scores for some students will be suspect." The reviewers recommend that state test scores not be the sole basis to determine whether students graduate or if they are placed in remedial courses.

Sarah Gonzalez/ StateImpact Florida

Last year nearly every Florida teacher was meeting goals according to statewide teacher evaluation that includes student test scores.

And two of every five teachers were rated “highly effective.”

But that could change soon at Thursday's State Board of Education meeting. The ratings are important because they influence teacher pay and can determine which teachers remain in their jobs and which teachers require extra training.

biologycorner / Flickr

The firm checking whether Florida’s new state test is valid is meeting with South Florida school districts Wednesday.

The state hired Alpine Testing Solutions after lawmakers raised questions about whether the new Florida Standards Assessments results should count.

Many students had long waits or couldn’t access the Florida Standards Assessments when they tried to log on to the test this spring. Others were kicked out in the middle of the exam.

booleansplit / Flickr

Some states are telling students and parents they are better at reading, writing, math and other subjects than they really are, according to a new website from the Foundation for Excellence in Education.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Florida just completed the first year of one of the biggest experiments in U.S. education.

For the first time this year, every grade in every public school used new math and language arts standards that outline what students should know each year. The goal to have is high school graduates who are ready for college-level classes or the full-time work force.

School district and state leaders generally support the switch. Teacher and parent opinions differ about whether the new standards are an improvement.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush became a Republican presidential candidate Monday.

Education has been a signature issue for Bush. He helped start Florida’s first charter school. He says schools and teachers should be judged on student performance. He pushed for vouchers for private schools.

And he spent most of his time since leaving the Florida governor’s office advocating for his brand of school reform.

Thomas Galvez on Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The US high school graduation rate is at an all-time high. But why? NPR Ed partnered with 14 member stations around the country to bring you the stories behind that number. Check out the rest of the stories here in our slideshow.

John O'Connor / WLRN

The superintendents of Florida's two largest school districts say it is less likely they'll make students repeat third grade next year because of low state reading test scores.

State law requires that students earning the lowest score on the reading exam have to repeat third grade unless they are granted an exemption. About 16,000 students across the state were held back last year.

But Florida has switched to a new statewide test this year, the Florida Standards Assessments, and educators aren't sure they can trust the results.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Florida lawmakers’ decision to end mandatory final exams for every class will mean that more teachers’ performance will be judged on subjects they don’t teach.

Concerned about the amount of testing in schools -- and pressured by activists and educators -- this year lawmakers rescinded a state law that requires school districts to have a standard final assessment in any class that doesn’t already have a statewide exam. In most cases that’s a test, but it could be a final project or compilation of a student’s work.

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