Kaliah Richardson, Reporter

This year our governor, Ron DeSantis has announced that he plans on completely getting rid of the statewide standardized test known as the FSA (Florida Standard Assessment). 


During a conference he explained that he’s going to introduce a bill that eliminates the FSA because he believes the test is “outdated” and he has come up with a new idea to replace the FSA with something called progress monitoring, which would happen 3 times per year. Getting rid of the FSA would erase the last bit of the Common Core standard testing in Florida. DeSantis believes because the Common Core standards are so outdated, that they should be replaced with a different type of testing that would be more beneficial to schools across the state of Florida. The Common Core replacement is known as BEST (Benchmark for Excellent Student Thinking), which is a set of standards which includes updates for the math and science curriculum and how the assessments will be completed. This idea of removing the FSA is planned to fully take effect in the 2022-2023 school year so children can start their individual learning and growth as students as soon as possible. 


Although he says the FSA is outdated, that’s not his only reason for getting rid of the standard assessment. DeSantis also states that the new progress monitoring assessments will be known as the F.A.S.T plan (Florida Assessment of Student Thinking plan). It will only take a couple of hours rather than days to complete, and it will not be the same for every student. The assessments are going to be different so that they can collect data for each individual student and so educators can adjust to help them in the areas they need more help in. This new plan is also said to reduce testing time by 75% so that students can have more in class learning time where their teachers can help them each work on their individual struggles, which would help each student understand the material more. 


Before making the announcement of removing the 

FSA, DeSantis of course tested the progress monitoring method at an Elementary school in Florida. He stated that the students were doing better with the progress monitoring than they were without it, and it was able to improve their grades big time! The elementary school that he tested this at, had an overall school grade as a D, but after a year of working hard and monitoring each student’s individual growth with DeSantis’s new idea, it had moved up to a C.


Multiple teacher unions have surprisingly agreed with DeSantis’s decision despite just wanting to sue him due to his classroom reopening plans. Not only do the teacher unions support his plan, but the FEA (Florida Education Association) also agrees with the Desantis’s idea, and they are still continuing to work on how Florida evaluates its students and teachers so they can eventually get it right. Multiple other school districts within Florida have said that progress monitoring would be a huge benefit to their schools because not only does it take less time than the FSA, which allows them to have more weeks in school doing actual learning, it also looks at how to improve the students’ learning and help them grow and become smarter. 


This year is scheduled to be the last school year that students will have to take the outdated FSA and many people are excited about this. Soon students will be saying goodbye to Florida’s old standardized testing for good, and welcome the new standards that are going to improve student’s performance in school.