FSA’s future in question

Gov. Ron DeSantis drafted a bill to remove Florida Standardized Testing and replace it with progress checks. The bill will go through the Florida State legislature in March 2022.

After five years of its implementation into school education, the FSA system has acted as a measure of students’ abilities in language and mathematics. It has also determined school ratings and funding.

Teachers from elementary to high school are obligated to confine their lessons to the standards of these tests. While the system is rather new and has recently been adapted to, DeSantis, amongst other Floridians, said the program is outdated.

“There will be 75% less time for testing which will mean more time for learning,” Desantis said.

Additionally, he voices along with other state representatives that they put unnecessary stress on students. 

Malloy Mauch, a Jupiter High junior, found the 10th grade reading test made her anxious last school year.

“I felt I was prepared to take it, but knowing that you had to pass to graduate made me nervous anyways,” Mauch said.

The bill’s purpose is to uplift the rigid standards of the FSA, allowing for students to learn more at ease. As Florida has a substantial mental health crisis, reducing academic obligations for students could help to aid in relieving mental health in teens.

Evidently, testing removal is favorable amongst many students for obvious reasons, surprisingly, many teachers are also excited to be creative without worrying about a set of questions that determine their ability to teach. 

Debi Depasquale, a veteran 10th grade English teacher, spoke of her agreement to be rid of them despite never not teaching to one.

“It would be lovely to do away with tests because I’m still passionate about my job and it will allow me to teach other areas,” Depasquale said. 

Along with the many ardent educators like Depasquale, there are some that aren’t as exemplary. By just removing the assessment poses no basis or standard to hold these specific teachers accountable.  The proposed “progress checks” in their place, are meant to become this standard as well as be much less prolonged or test-like.

“While I know most of my colleagues and I can have the room to go outside of the box, I do acknowledge there will also be those who play movies all day long,”  Depasquale said. 

To see the definite results, tune in to the local news throughout the year to find out the future path of Florida’s education.