Even before the Lee County School Board elected to opt out of state mandated testing—and then reversed that decision—the subject has been a contentious one.
With teacher evaluations in part tied to testing performance and some parents claiming myriad tests aren’t creating a positive learning environment, a new bill hopes to relieve some of these concerns.
The legislation (SB 616), sponsored by Senate Education PreK-12 Chairman John Legg, would cap the amount of time students spend on state and local tests at five percent of their schools hours. The bill would authorize districts to use something other than tests to assess students in some courses. It would also revamp laws pushed through the Legislature in 2011 tying teachers’ evaluations and pay more closely to student performance.
“As a public school mom I understand the everyday concerns that parents are dealing with regarding over testing our students,” said State Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto—who sits on the pre-K-12 board—in a Monday written statement. “While I haven’t had the chance to read SB 616 yet, I support the effort to reduce the amount of tests our children take, while still maintaining accountability.”