Florida State Board of Education Sets State Assessment Scores
Author: Helios Education FoundationJanuary 13, 2016
Every student, regardless of zip code, deserves a high-quality education. The challenge lies in what exactly meets the standard of “high-quality”.
Florida’s state Board of Education recently set passing scores for the state’s newly implemented Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) tests after much debate both in favor and against the adopted scores. Regardless of cut scores’ aggressiveness or lack thereof, the premise that students must achieve - and educators must be held accountable to - high standards is essential to ensure our students meet workforce demands. Setting the bar too high, too quickly without appropriate curriculum preparedness and teacher supports will establish a culture of anxious disillusion, yet setting the bar too low will result in high school graduates that ceremoniously walk across the graduation stage but cannot meet postsecondary education or workforce demands, placing them at a disadvantage despite the attainment of a diploma.
In addition to high academic standards, aligned assessments that reveal how well students learn what we want them to learn are crucial. Assessments aligned with instructional strategies that assure comprehension validate teaching methodology and student knowledge. The more rigorous an academic area, the more appropriate a rigorous measurement of achievement.
High academic standards and appropriately aligned assessments serve our students, our community and our economic competitiveness. Rather than a sole focus on the numeric value of a passing or failing score, educators and community leaders best serve Florida’s students by ensuring they are challenged by a highly rigorous curriculum that ensures college and career readiness, validated by assessments that substantiate the acquisition of knowledge and ultimately graduate with knowledge, skills and abilities that position them for the competitive 21st century