When Florida suspended its FAIR exam for kindergarten through second grade, high-stakes testing opponents cheered the change as a step toward a deescalation of the state’s attachment to assessments.
Since then, though, the Florida Department of Education has moved to tamp down any such notion. The decision to cut the reading test had nothing to do with growing complaints about how Florida relies on test results too heavily, spokesman Joe Follick told reporters.
It was all about the app, he said. The DOE changed the test’s technology over the summer, he noted, and it simply didn’t work properly. Superintendents and assessment coordinators let the department know, and officials decided to pull the plug. Simple as that.
That action, in fact, showed just how much high stakes testing still affects what happens in both schools and preschools. One prekindergarten provider contacted the Gradebook to point out that, without FAIR results, her school could suffer because it won’t get a state rating that some parents use when selecting pre-k programs for their four-year-olds.