Panhandle schools in favor of Gov. Ron Desantis’ bill to end standardized tests

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a bill that would eliminate standardized tests at the end of the year. If the bill passes, the state of Florida would implement progress monitoring. 

Superintendents and teachers around the Panhandle are in favor of the potential change.

“I don’t think it has done anything for student learning,” Denise Hinson, President of the Association of Bay County Educators said of standardized tests. “I think it has really stifled it. The students get so stressed by those state standardized tests, that they freeze or they just give up before they even start.”

DeSantis said that without standardized testing, Florida students could spend 75% less time taking tests.

“It is the year 2021, and the FSA is quite frankly outdated,” DeSantis said. “It takes days to administer, leaving less time for student learning. It is not customizable to each student, which we do have the capability, with algorithms to do.”

Superintendents from Gulf District Schools, Franklin County Schools, and Walton County Schools said they were all in favor of the change.

“There’s a lot to be done, if it’s going into law, then it is what it is,” Russell Hughes, Superintendent of the Walton County School District said. “We teach for success, our teachers.”

Bay District Schools did not comment, but Hinson believes progress monitoring is more impactful.

“Progress monitoring is where each student has individual goals that they need to meet, academic goals,” Hinson said. “And the teachers check through little informal kind of assessments or formal assessments.”

Both teachers and students become increasingly stressed due to the standardized tests, Hinson said.

“We see this as a big win for our students in our public schools. Because now we’re not going to have to worry about those standardized state tests that really penalize children and are a stressful time for everyone.”

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