After weeks of protests, Florida testing critics claimed a victory Monday: The state suspended one of its tests.
Education Commissioner Pam Stewart ended the Florida Assessments for Instruction in Reading, known as the FAIR test, in kindergarten through second grade. In its place, teachers will observe children’s reading abilities in a more informal setting than the online exam, which recently experienced glitches.
Stewart announced the change in a memo to superintendents.
“It’s amazing,” said Susan Bowles, the Alachua County kindergarten teacher whose widely publicized refusal to administer FAIR this fall sparked the state’s move. “I am very grateful that they have seen that the test was not a good thing for children.”
Unlike other tests, FAIR is used solely to monitor students’ progress and has no impact on school grades or funding. But Bowles and other advocates expressed hope that the next step would be a wider discussion about testing in Florida schools.