Two-minute take: Florida changes school testing

Learn more about Anne Wicks.
Anne Wicks
Ann Kimball Johnson Director, Education and Opportunity
George W. Bush Institute

State to measure student progress throughout the year to ensure kids are on track

Florida moves to progress monitoring approach in student assessment: Starting with the 2022-2023 school year, the state will implement a new education assessment law that measures student progress throughout the year in the form of three tests, including a comprehensive final test in May.

Why it matters: Florida is the first state to stop using a single year end test. Some say that state summative tests— required by the federal government— report scores too late to be meaningful for parents or teachers.

  • Despite the criticism, annual tests are important as they are an effective check of student learning at the system level and an important component of school accountability.  
  • Disaggregating exam data by race, ethnicity, English language learner status, special education, and socio-economic status reveal who is being left behind in our publicly funded system.

Florida will administer three tests to measure student progress throughout the year —  two tests given during the school year and a final comprehensive assessment in May.

  • The positive is that parents and teachers will get results for the first two tests quickly to adjust instruction and intervene, if necessary.
  • And the final comprehensive progress monitoring exam will be used for state accountability purposes.

Bottom line: This new approach is worth watching. If successful, it will provide more immediate progress reports to parents and teachers while maintaining the important end of year comprehensive exam.

The Bush Institute recently examined testing and its impact on student learning and equity. Read more: