The FSA: The Student Perspective

By Nathalie Mairena

Florida Standards Assessment testing was sprung a week before they were scheduled to begin. Tests were completed earlier this year, with few practice tests available and even fewer chances to get students prepared for the FSA. Now, with multiple technical issues, students and teachers alike are voicing their concerns- and dislike- for this new exam.

Florida was one of the few states that decided to make their own test instead of following the new Common Core, naming their new curriculum the Florida Standard. The FSA was commissioned by Education Department of Florida to AIR, the American Institute of Research.

For a whopping 200 million dollars, officials said that the test was able to evaluate teacher and their abilities in the classroom. The FSA is one of the first exams fully intended for the computer. The state chose to field test the new FSA in Utah, a state which had similarly chosen to form their own test.

More than half of the students who took the exam failed.

As a result of the failed field test and the fear that students are being flooded with tests, students, teachers, and parents alike have called out against the test, with some even trying to opt out of the exam completely.

“.. Nothing short of a reasonable accountability transition, which must include treating this year as a baseline development year, makes sense,” Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said on his Facebook, the day testing started. “Getting it right must trump getting it done.”

The FSA is also coming in a time where new end of course exams are being implemented, with courses like Drama and P.E having these new assessments. Coupled together, students are being bombarded multiple tests many do not feel prepared for.

Students took to twitter to express their thoughts on the exam, flooding the #FSATesting hash tag during the Harbinger’s Twitter chat discussing the subject. Many posted on their fears of not passing, of being unprepared, and of the faulty system. The hash tag became a local trending topic for 40 minutes.

“7 tests. 6 classes. 5 hours of sleep. 4 mental breakdowns. 3 textbooks. 2 hour classes. 1 annoying proctor,” said Ashley Roche, an MLEC sophomore, during the Twitter chat,  mirroring the frustration of many students.

Technical issues have also plagued FSA testing since its start on March 2. The first day of testing experienced crash after crash of the testing website, fsaassesments.org. School districts like Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and many others had difficulties, with many student loosing entire essays from a crash or being unable to log in altogether.

The test was canceled completely as educational officials came together over whether or not the system could handle another day of testing. It was resumed after a vote on Thursday, March 5, but that very same day, reports came out that schools were again experiencing issues with logging in.

There have also been issues of protocol. Unlike other exams, like the FCAT, the FSA appears to have no contingency plans for unexpected situations, like a student falling ill during the exam or accidently having an electronic with them or even if they experience a computer isse after seeing the prompt.

Take the situation of Bryan Mili, a freshman in IT, who, after logging in to take the writing test, was unable to type his first sentence. For over an hour, as technicians attempted to fix his computer, students around him continued working.

While allotted more time, Mili was under strained circumstances. In other exams, like FCAT, EOCs and even AP tests, a student can postpone taking the exam for makeup’s.

When the school called Tallahassee asking on what to do, they simply stated he had to take the exam.

“I think it was unfair for me. In the back of my head I was a little nervous,” Mili said. “…It was unfair for everyone… The teacher had to stay extra time until I finished. The students next to me were annoyed by all the people around me working on the computer…They should have given me another day.”

There is also the issue of how the exam is meant to be graded. For most new tests, there is a baseline exam that allows those who score the test to form a grading scale. As of yet, the FSA does not have baseline scores.

Discrepancies like these, along with the accumulating technical and mental strains, have left all those involved in test taking exhausted and demanding changes.

“When we took EOCs, we would make sure the program was running smoothly before the test,” said @phenylacetic during the #FSATesting twitter chat. “Couldn’t they have done this as well?

Advertisements
Leave a comment

3 Comments

  1. cuhreenah

     /  April 24, 2015

    Reblogged this on intro to extrospection.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • Follow Pictures, News, Articles… on WordPress.com
  • Follow me on Twitter

ArchAntithesis

A creative portfolio.

Cece Bell

a website about nuts, nits, gnats, nets, knots, and, oh yeah, Cece Bell's books!

My Night Off

{we survived the week}

In The Works

Online Portfolio and Blog

Ways of the Force

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

call it a good thing

Amanda Delgado, psychology major and research assistant. Trying to get into the habit of writing.

Communiqué

East Coast to West Coast

snow monkey photography

travel and street photography

Arts and Gabs

A Blog About a Girl Who Likes to Make Crafts

capaciousthoughts

From everyday things to epiphanies...

The Harbinger

Student newspaper for Miami Lakes Educational Center. We power young minds through information.

Dungeons and Daniels

Gotta blog em all

Stephanie Brito

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."–Martin Luther

Educe the Truth

Bringing Out the Best of Every Passing Day

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: