Echoing a host of critics, the Florida School Board Association today joined a slew of education groups who are calling for an "overhaul" of the state's education accountability system because of the Florida Standards Assessments' botched debut last spring.
In a statement today, the group said it "firmly supports the Florida Standards and valid and reliable state assessments to measure student progress in mastering those standards.
"However, Florida school board members are deeply concerned about the integrity of Florida’s current accountability system, which they believe has continuously deteriorated," the group continued. "Additionally, the FSBA is concerned with the lack of trust from educators, students and the broader public in the fairness of statewide assessments and standards."
The Florida Department of Education has stood by the FSA, citing an independent validity study last month which found that, despite the technical disruptions in the test administration, the test results can still be used in "group-level" situations -- such as determining school grades and aiding in teachers' performance evaluations. The agency is beginning to release results of last spring's FSA this fall; district percentiles were published Wednesday.
Both the PTA and superintendents association recently declared they have “lost confidence” in the exams and have pushed the state not to issue school grades this year. The school board association agrees.
“The accountability system in Florida is broken. In such a high-stakes testing environment, it is imperative that we reassess current procedures so that we can move forward with a reliable system that educators, students and the community can support,” FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina said in the statement.