When Florida’s school superintendents lose confidence in the state’s entire system of accountability and call for a complete review, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart had better pay attention and change course. With one stinging voice, the superintendents say the botched rollout of the Florida Standards Assessments means the test is of no use in grading schools, evaluating teachers or judging student achievement. The superintendents are right.
If Stewart and the Department of Education cling to the fiction that the tests and their underpinnings are valid, they will continue to undermine faith in the very system they claim to promote. And they will lose more Floridians who believe in accountability but not the flawed version the state is pushing.