Mama Sass

Mama Sass: Florida should stop over-testing kids

Now that testing season is ending in Miami-Dade County Public Schools, can we resume life, please?

My daughters and their classmates have been in mind-boggling testing mode for the past five weeks, starting with the FCAT leading into End-of-Course assessments and finishing up with a big, fat, four-hour AP World History exam.

I don’t believe one test should determine a child’s future. Should 10?

When they weren’t being tested, my kids and their friends were sitting for hours in the same classroom, watching movies, playing poker and texting on their cell phones so they wouldn’t disturb the other test-takers.

I’m all for holding kids and schools accountable, but is there any sense in completing this many bubbles and essays or sitting idle for days on end so others can do the same? With all the logistical and mechanical problems, just how accurate are these tests? My oldest daughter was among the 1,200 Miami-Dade students whose computers went dark during the FCAT reading test when an anti-malware update wreaked havoc on the service.

Here’s a math question my kids already know how to answer: If there are more than 2.6 million students in Florida public schools and that state mandates excessive computer-based testing for all, but doesn’t provide money for enough computers for all, who gets the failing grade? That’s not high-stakes testing, that’s high-jinx testing.

My children spent so much time being analyzed and waiting for their friends to be analyzed, I wonder what really went on this semester.

Is Florida teaching our kids? Or teaching them how to pass?

Mama Sass, a Miami mother of two, blogs at, where she welcomes comments.

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