Gov. Ron DeSantis Announces Bill to End Common Core-Aligned Tests

AP Photo/Ty Wright

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a new piece of legislation that will end the state’s use of annual academic assessments that are aligned with the Common Core Standards.

“Florida’s education focus should be students’ growth and how we restore the conversation between parents and teachers in support of students’ growth,” DeSantis said Tuesday, adding:

In this final step to eradicate Common Core from our assessments, our administration is implementing the lessons learned from progress monitoring both during the state’s recovery and from our districts and schools that were already showing how we can better support students reaching their own unique growth goals.

The bill would put an end to the Common Core-based Florida State Assessment (FSA) administered at the end of the school year.

A new plan, called the Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (F.A.S.T.), would instead monitor students’ progress throughout the year. It would make Florida the first state to move to progress monitoring via three shorter tests in fall, winter, and spring, which would consume less time than the days-long FSA.

“Florida is putting students first,” the Florida Department of Education tweeted, stating the governor “announced the end of the FSA, the elimination of Common Core and a plan to provide real-time results for educators, parents and students.”

According to a press release from the governor’s office, students from High Point Elementary School, “where every student is considered to come from an economically disadvantaged family,” benefited from the use of progress monitoring.

The governor’s office added the new plan would benefit children, parents, and teachers by “[r]educing testing time an average of 75% through progress monitoring, increasing time for teaching and providing more timely, usable feedback to help students reach their unique goals.”

DeSantis announced in January 2020 he was officially putting an end of the Common Core Standards in his state and replacing them with standards that “embrace common sense.”

The governor said the new “Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking” (B.E.S.T.) standards will mark a “return to the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic.”

With the B.E.S.T. standards, which also fulfill the governor’s mandate to emphasize sufficient knowledge of civics in K-12 education, DeSantis said Florida students will “understand the principles that make America great.”

DeSantis issued an executive order in January 2019 that called for the elimination of the Common Core Standards, which former Gov. Jeb Bush (R) had urged the state to adopt. Ultimately, the state “rebranded” the Common Core as the Florida Standards.


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