Posted 4/1/2015 12:00:00 AM by Maira Martelo in News/Blog
More than 100 ONE by ONE delegates and members of the public gathered on March 30 for a community meeting on the new Florida Standards and the new assessment that is being administered this spring.
The evening kicked off with a panel discussion about the new Florida Standards and the new assessment that included Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Duval County Council of PTAs President Margaret Godke, 2015 Florida Blue Duval County Teacher of the Year Kifimbo Holloway-Parnell, and Essence Duncan, President of the Jacksonville Association of Governing Students.
Delegates asked several questions regarding how prepared teachers and students are for the new assessment and the high levels of frustration and anxiety they are experiencing due to higher levels of complexity and the fast pace for the change.
After the panel discussion, participants took part in small group discussions. Finally, they sent 40 messages to their legislators via email and hand-written postcards letting them know about the need for a pause on school grades so the transition with the change of standards and assessment could be more understandable for the general public and fair to all students, teachers and schools.
All materials from the event can be found below, as well as results from the conversation.
If you missed the meeting or didn't get a chance to contact your elected lawmakers - now is the time! Click here to get started.
Summary of table discussion: Key take-aways from the panel discussion
Concerns about not having enough time and preparation for the new test both for teachers and students. Too much rush to be ready for the test. More resources are needed to properly prepare for the new test.
Pace of the change is too fast and remedial support is not that clear.
The test was not field tested in Florida and that raises concerns for most participants, including panelists.
Too much focus on grades and testing, instead of focusing on learning, which is what really matters.
Amount of testing is not uniform in all schools or districts.
The new policy doesn't provide a safety net and instead will make many students fail.
Great support for suspension of school grades for one year.
Summary of table discussions:
District needs to reach out to the community with a greater sense of urgency to better inform them about the transition. Teachers can be really helpful on those efforts
Explain why standards are important and the impact they will have in the long term for student performance. Clearly explain what goes beyond the school grades
Parents can be great spokesperson to explain the positive side of the change, especially about the critical thinking and the global competitiveness that the new standards will equip our students
Show what children are currently learning with the new standards as a good way to explain the changes and its benefits
We need to better explain where decisions are made regarding education. There is still confusion about what the district really controls or not.
Exit survey results
100% of survey respondents agree that "the session activities were well organized and productive."
91% of survey respondents agreed with the statement, "I understand the current status of the new Florida Standards and new assessment (FSA)."
94% of survey respondents agreed with the statement, "I am planning to share the information discussed today with others I know."
-- Maira Martelo