Fewer tests bill signed by Governor Scott but state accountability measures remain in place

Tallahassee, FL – April 14, 2015 – Even before the 2015 legislative session began, elected officials were talking about testing. Legislators had been inundated with complaints from teachers, school leaders, and parents about the amount of class time spent on testing. They were also concerned that the changes in the tests were happening too quickly to properly train educators and prepare students.

Signed by Governor Scott yesterday, HB 7069 is a response to those concerns. The bill limits the time students can spend on tests to a maximum of 45 hours each year. There was previously no cap on yearly testing hours.

“While school accountability and the measuring of student academic progress is a vital and necessary part of Florida’s public education system, it’s good policy to review the systems, secure feedback from educators, and make adjustments in order to better serve our students,” said Robert Haag, President, Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools.

The law also puts an end to end-of-course tests in classes where the state doesn’t administer such exams, puts a hold on using student test data to determine school grade, and reduces the portion of a teacher’s evaluation tied to student performance (from the current 50% to one-third). Third graders’ promotion remains tied to the tests.

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