Support Education Not Standardized Testing

Issues

Our childrens’ education is and shall continue to be a local issue. Here in Jacksonville we can take pride in many of our highly successful schools, teachers, parents and students but many of our schools are falling behind. We can all agree, though, that state mandated testing has become a major obstacle to student growth and learning. Moreover, standardized testing does not measure our student’s growth in any meaningful way but only sustains testing corporation’s profits. We must return power back to our local leaders, teachers, parents and students so that we have more ownership over our schools and can ensure that students get the help they need when they need it. The millions of tax dollars we spend on standardized testing should be available to teachers who put forth the extra time and effort it takes to assess students on a more individual basis. We must find ways to actually help under-performing students rather than simply threatening to hold them back because of high stakes testing. We should also support innovation in teaching by incentivizing creativity in lesson planning and instruction rather than incentivizing “teaching to the test”.

The passage of HB 7069 was a low-point in Florida’s education history. It siphons money away from schools which are already chronically underfunded in favor of corporate conglomerates. I am not entirely against the charter schools to give parents more school choices, however politicians who favor these initiatives should find alternate sources of revenue that does not hinder the current schools’ ability to function properly.