More problems with standardized tests; discussion of education issues in Florida

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There was a new round of problems around the state Monday with Florida’s standardized tests; we spoke about this and several other state education issues with Susan Smith, the president of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida.

We also spoke about the state’s class size amendment, education funding, charter schools and private school vouchers.

Here’s The Associated Press story on Monday’s testing problems:

Florida school districts are suspending testing amid a new round of problems with the state’s online tests.

Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart blamed the problems on the outside company the state hired to put together the state’s new standardized test.

Stewart said during a Monday conference call with school superintendents that the company made unapproved changes to the testing system over the weekend. She called the actions by American Institutes for Research “unacceptable.”

This is yet another major disruption that has occurred with the new test. The initial rollout back in March was marred by technical glitches and reports of an alleged cyberattack. The test, called the Florida Standards Assessment, is based primarily on Common Core standards.

Stewart contended that problems have been fixed and that districts can resume testing.

Here’s video of part of the show:

We also talked about the 2016 race for U.S. Senate in Florida and whether U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson would enter and about two non-education bills in the state Legislature: one that would impose a 24-hour waiting limit on a woman seeking an abortion and another that would allow groups to use a religious exemption to refuse to serve same-sex couples looking to adopt.

Listen to the whole show here:

Here’s part of an email from the Florida PTA

Orlando, Florida – Today across the state, many districts experienced technical glitches which required them to halt the test. Florida students could not log into the state’s standardized reading and math exams. The issue was related to the server operated by AIR. Some districts were planning to continue with testing in the afternoon while some canceled it for the day.

This latest disruption calls into question the reliability of the FSA test.

*** Please call Governor Scott and demand that our children are held harmless until this test is determined to be valid and reliable. Our children deserve better than this.