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Politics

Rick Scott Suspends Standardized Test Via Executive Order

February 23, 2015 - 6:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott flexed his gubernatorial muscle over Floridas education system Tuesday morning, signing an executive ordersuspending a standardized test for the states 11th-graders.

Scotts executive order directs Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart and the Florida Department of Education to suspend the Florida Standards Assessment English language arts test for 11th-graders.

Students were originally scheduled to take the test this spring (from March to May), but Scott said hed sign an executive order to stop the test after the department concluded an investigation into statewide assessment tests last week.

The results of the investigation prompted Stewart to conclude that Florida is oversaturated with standardized tests.

As I have traveled the state, I have heard from parents and teachers that there are too many tests and I agree, said Scott last week. I would like to thank Commissioner Stewart for leading an investigation of standardized testing and helping to determine which tests can be eliminated.

Scotts executive order also says the governor wants the Florida Legislature to consider a full repeal of the test, but there have been no indications of that actually occurring this year.

I look forward to working with the Legislature to implement the commissioners recommendations and reduce the number of tests this year, he said.

Scotts order comes on the heels of significant public backlash from teachers, parents and members of the public who say Florida tests too much and far too often.

This years new statewide assessment test also received criticism, in part due to content being drawn from the controversial Common Core State Standards.

Lawmakers have already called for changes to the states assessment testing process. Earlier this year, Sen. John Legg, R-Lutz, introduced a bill to reduce testing time to no more than 5 percent of a students classroom time, but its unclear whether this years legislative session will see a repeal of standardized testing entirely.

This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.


Reach Tampa-based reporter Allison Nielsen at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen


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