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Miami: Nation’s 4th Largest School District Dumps Most Year End Tests

By: Krystle Crossman

Miami’s school district, like so many other school districts in the country, is fed up with the standardized testing and the measurement of how good a teacher is based on the scores. They decided that it was time to take action and do something about it. This year they have gotten rid of end-of-the-year exams from elementary all the way through high school. This wasn’t too much of a surprise considering the amount of glitches that the computer systems have had recently with the tests and the pressure that is coming from the school districts to lighten or eliminate the standardized testing.

Where Miami has taken the lead many other Florida districts are sure to follow. Miami successfully eliminated all 23 elementary exams, 73 of the 77 middle school exams, and a whopping 180 of 186 exams for high school students. They are not getting rid of testing completely though. They are replacing the tests that they are eliminating with better tests that more accurately reflect the student’s knowledge and the teacher’s ability.

Governor Rick Scott signed a law recently that limited testing to 45 hours per year. This was done in response to parents and teachers who were outraged at the amount of tests that the students had to take and how it cut into the classroom time that they had. Some schools will do a full week or more of testing per semester which is a lot of classroom time that is completely lost. It also ties up the computer labs for others who may not be in testing at the time. Governor Scott states that there needs to be more learning and less tests for the students in our country.

Governor Jeb Bush had put the standardized testing into effect while he was in office but it has not fared the state well at all. He was also the official who based a teacher’s success on the scores that his or her students received on these standardized tests. Many do not believe that this is a good way to measure how good of a teacher someone is.

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One thought on “Miami: Nation’s 4th Largest School District Dumps Most Year End Tests

  1. Wanda Dorn

    It’s about time our politicians and leaders looked at this issue with a new lens.

    Kudos to Governor Rick Scott for his vision.

    These tests that are so punitive to teachers and administrators do not test the success of a teacher.

    Building more schools so that teachers have fewer students in their classroom is a more effective tool for successful students. Most schools often have somewhere near forty students to a class, when they should probably have under twenty. This will allow teachers to give more attention to a student that is at risk of failing.

    Tests do not always show what a student knows, because, as we all know, some people don’t test well. The teacher in the classroom is the best judge of when a student is at risk.

    Some say teachers are out during the summer and holidays, so they have it easy. What parent have it easy raising their own children that they know, let alone a teacher in the classroom who has to get a quick assessment of each of the (forty) students (each class) thrust at them twice a year. Let alone the time they have to spend disciplining or asking for assistance in disciplining students. Some students can be a disciplinary challenge.

    Teachers are required to have certain degrees and credentialing, but make less money than almost anyone in other fields requiring the same degrees and amount of education.

    When are we going to respect our educators again? That’s the key to better schools; that and smaller class sizes.

    What young person would want to go into the field of education today as a career? Any wonder we have a shortage of teachers?

    This article and Governor Scott’s concerns gives me hope!

    Reply

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