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Minority Office — Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 3, 2015

CONTACT: Chauncey Graham, 850/487-5027


Senators Jeff Clemens, Dwight Bullard Call on Governor to Suspend FL Standards Assessment

Democratic Lawmakers Warn Against Using Florida's Children as Guinea Pigs

Tallahassee —

Following a series of computer glitches throughout Florida yesterday, Senators Jeff Clemens and Dwight Bullard sent the following letter to Governor Rick Scott, asking him to immediately suspend the Florida Standards Assessment:

Dear Governor,

 

Yesterday, the first day of testing under the new and untested Florida Standards Assessment, was nothing less than a disaster for school districts and students across the state. We are calling on you to immediately suspend the administration of these tests and allow time for educators to work out the problems, instead of using our children as guinea pigs for a flawed system.

 

Hundreds of thousands of students were unable to take the tests due to technology issues yesterday, as district after district suspended the administration of the tests after being unable to access the system. This has thrown the scheduling of districts all across the Sunshine State into disarray.

 

Worse, it was not as if this impending catastrophe came without warning. Superintendents, administrators, and teachers, as well as legislators, from across the state have continued to steadfastly declare that we, as a state, were not ready to handle this testing system. Their pleas were ignored by the Department of Education, which now claims that only a few thousand students were unable to test on March 2. This is such a terrible twisting of the truth as to be almost unbelievable. While only a few thousand students who were able to take the test may have been unable to complete it, hundreds of thousands of students in districts such as Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Leon and over 30 others were completely unable to access the system properly, resulting in total suspension of the testing in many, if not most, counties.  Further, thousands of hours of instructional time have been wasted. 

 

These misleading figures from the Department of Education serve to undermine what little confidence that parents and educators have in the system, and tell hundreds of thousands of students that they simply don’t count.

 

Again, please do the right thing by our children and the people we trust to guide them and immediately call for a suspension of the Florida Standards Assessment until we have spent the proper amount of time evaluating the efficacy of the system.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Senator Jeff Clemens              Senator Dwight Bullard

Florida Senate District 27        Florida Senate District 39