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Adrian De Guzman, Reporter

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Students prepare for the Florida Standards Assessment Test, which is replacing the End of Course examination.
Photo By: Isabella Rivera, Photographer

By: Adrian De Guzman, Reporter

As the end of the school year draws closer, students begin to worry about the upcoming standardized tests. Before this year, the standard assessment that students would take was the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT. However, the 2014-15 school year is the first year that Florida will be transitioning to the new Florida Standard Assessments, or FSA.

First, students will take the language arts writing component, which begins on March 2 and ends on March 6. Following that, the multiple choice language arts test will be on a date between April 13 to May 8. The FSA will not test math, as the tests for math will be the regular End of Course exams.

Ninth grade English teacher Ms. Leah Gentry says that, The FSA will be better for students because “county level officials are fighting to make sure that the tests are fair to students.”

According to Ms. Gentry, the FCAT assessed the standards presented by Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, but the FSA will use standards presented by the Florida Standards, similar to Common Core. Florida is switching to these standards because many other states have been conforming to similar standards. All of the United States, except for Virginia, Texas, Nebraska, and Alaska, have switched to Common Core like standards. The switch to FSA is progress towards the standardization of the education within the nation to make it easy to compare test results from different parts of the country.

Assistant Principal of the English department, Mrs. Angel Rocha, says, The “Florida Standard Assessment test is a more demanding test. I wouldn’t say harsher but more demanding in terms of having a [better] knowledge of things that apply to real life.”

These test are harder because students are required to understand the skills taught in class as well as comprehensive reading. One must be able to synthesize and put together information in order to receive a passing exemplary score.

Freshman Zubair Niloy says, “The FSA test was a bit more difficult. There was really no change except for a slightly harder prompt and more need for textual evidence.”

The skills assessed in these new tests will be comprehensive and test ones skills more efficiently than the FCAT. Though the FSA may be unfamiliar to the public, these tests should transition smoothly to become a regular part of school life.

For more information on these tests, click here.


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