Teachers question study deeming FSA a valid test - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Teachers question study deeming FSA a valid test

Teachers are raising questions about a study deeming the newly implemented Florida Standardized Assessment test "valid."

A study conducted by Alpine Testing Solutions and edCount companies gives the state the green light to start using FSA results to calculate school grades and teacher evaluations.

The study did bring up some red flags due to computer glitches when testing began last school year. Some students' results may not be conclusive because of those glitches. 

Gordan Longhofer is a teacher at Pahokee Middle High School. He builds his lesson plans a week in advance and says this test is forcing him to prepare his students for scantrons and questions on a computer rather than problem solving skills. 

"I see a lot things that might be barriers to me doing it the way I want to," said Longhofer. "Quite honestly I find it to be a total mess."

Longhofer says students and parents are concerned about what this test will mean for passing grade levels and even graduating high school. 

"You’re going to consider graduation decisions whether a student needs to take a remedial course or whether they are going to have to be retained at a grade level based on a test that, as I said already, is not aligned to Florida standards," added Longhofer.

Many teachers have expressed being stressed by this test. 

"Good teachers who have just been around a little bit longer and say I don’t need to take this anymore I'm leaving, they walk out the door," said Longhofer.

Longhofer has been teaching for 30 years. He says both he and his wife love being educators and they're not going anywhere even with the concerns about the future inside their classrooms. 

"I'm probably one of those die-hards, that in times I might even say no it doesn't matter how much you pay me I'm still going to do this job, because I love it," added Longhofer. 

The Parent Teachers Association urges parents who are against the exam to take their concerns to the governor and state legislators. 

The Palm Beach County School Board has committed to reducing the number of high-stakes tests.

The district released a statement Tuesday saying, "Although the FSA has been determined valid, we believe the state should explore other national standardized options like the SAT, ACT, and PSAT to determine student college and career readiness." 

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