Atlanta’s infamous public school cheating scandal sent some educators to jail last year and forced the system to clean up its culture of pressure-driven testing. But after the educators were found guilty of changing tests answers and sentenced, thousands of innocent victims remained: school children.
Taking on Tests
Parents listen and discuss ideas for opting out of state exams in Leon County. Credit: Lynn Hatter/WFSU
It’s the fifth season of the year in Florida: testing season. Millions of Florida’s public school students, from third grade through 12th, are preparing to take the Florida Standards Assessment. The test has drawn scorn from parents, teachers, school administrators, and even lawmakers—yet it remains the main measure of how schools and districts are graded, kids promoted, and teachers evaluated.
It’s testing season in schools across the South and around the country. Students are flipping open booklets or logging onto computers to answer math and reading questions. For over a decade, annual standardized testing has been the law of the land. But it’s not without controversy or pushback – and some states and school districts are rethinking their approach.