High Stakes Testing Update

Based on legislation that passed this session, the FSA will be rebranded to the “FAST” beginning next year. What does that mean for standardized testing in our schools?

Here’s what we know:

  • Students will continue to take assessments as they currently do (ELA in grades 3 – 10, math in grades 3 – 8, Science in grades 5 and 8, etc.).
  • The tests will consist of a comprehensive end-of-year exam, as well as two progress monitoring exams that will be added to the school year.
  • The high stakes placed on these tests will remain (possible retention in grade 3, school grades, teacher evaluations)
  • All tests will be computer-based
  • Tests will begin in pre-Kindergarten

Here’s what we don’t know:

  • How long each test will take (the bill doesn’t specify)
  • When the results will be available
  • How school districts will fund additional computers that may be needed
  • Which assessment tool will be used
  • If the same test security procedures will be needed
  • If our district will continue to use the existing progress monitoring exams (the AIMS tests and some district-created end of course exams)

Many of these questions will be answered by the Department of Education and/or Board of Education, hopefully over the summer. We will keep you posted as we hear more!

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