Ava Flaute, Reporter

Students across the nation have been pushed through standardized testing for decades. At the beginning of the year, the United States Department of Education began to see a problem with schools requiring particular tests.  The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan even stated, “teachers were concerned about too much testing, [arguing] that testing has begun to take over our school system.” 

To graduate in the state of Florida, every student is required to pass the FSA Reading and Algebra 1 EOC. Consequently, ever since these test scores have decreased, the Department of Education has decided that the FSA Reading will be replaced by the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking by the end of this school year. This is a program where students’ learning will be monitored three times per year, with shorter tests.

 According to the state of Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis, “The F.A.S.T Assessment will monitor student progress and foster individual growth.” Needless to say, the Department of Education intends to overview other examinations students will be required to take in order to determine if the tests are adequately suited towards the individual student’s growth.

The replacement of the FSA will help reduce the testing burden for students and schools across Florida by 75 percent. With this modification, students will be able to assess their strengths and weaknesses throughout the year so they can perform much higher on the F.A.S.T. examination. DeSantis believes creating a new testing regimen is necessary and is the “final step” in ending Common Core State Standards in Florida.

“As a sophomore who already took the required FSA, I feel replacing it with the new F.A.S.T testing will be extremely beneficial to the students. They would be able to see their progress throughout the whole year and not just once like the FSA,” states SHS sophomore Kiley Stackpole.

However, based on previous announcements from DeSantis and the Department of Education, explicit details are still unknown. Unanswered questions remain, such as whether the test will be broken into several parts over the school year (will allow results to be provided to teachers relatively quickly). Nonetheless, many are still unsure of the timing of these tests as both the governor and the Department of Education don’t want to interrupt the previously scheduled learning for these students. The Department of Education just needs  to make sure they establish a standards and assessments system to meet the requirements of the previously established Every Student Succeeds Act.

SHS freshman and Psi High student Brooklyn Evans expresses, “I am still unsure about the switch from the FSA to the new test proposed by the governor. I believe it would be a lot to handle taking the test multiple times in the year without interfering with the curriculum guide.”

Removing certain standardized testing and creating an alternative will likely help reduce the stress and anxiety students face. For instance, taking tests like the FSA can easily become stressful as students have to complete the test in two sittings with a certain time limit. Although the proposed change still requires a time limit, students are able to focus on the test much easier as it is spaced out between the year. Nevertheless, the removal of FSA and the replacement of F.A.S.T testing will allow both teachers and students to track their progress more efficiently than they would be able to with the annual FSA testing.