The largest school district in Florida agreed Wednesday to push the state for more time to implement new standardized tests and for other changes in testing policies that have drawn increasing backlash.
“This is a win for common sense and for kids, and it may take a little while, but I think what you’re hearing across the state is a tsunami of growing consciousness,” Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho told reporters shortly after School Board members agreed to a series of recommendations he offered.
Tests — who takes them, how often and what the results are used for — have come under withering criticism in Florida, especially in light of the decision last month by the Lee County School Board to opt out of all state tests. The move was promptly rescinded, but the action of the school district that includes Fort Myers on the Gulf Coast has nonetheless pushed the issue into prominence.
Miami-Dade School Board members agreed Wednesday that no testing is not an option.
“This is an imperfect accountability system, but to say that we don’t need an accountability system is to say we don’t need to count every child,” said board member Carlos Curbelo.
Among the recommendations the board accepted Wednesday are that the district:
Carvalho said the district could now start lobbying elected officials for the changes and unite with other school boards and community members that have similar concerns.
Board member Wilbert “Tee” Holloway called for more-concrete action.
“It’s just been talk. Talk, talk, talk,” he said. “Now we’ve got to move, not as extreme as other districts have done, but we’ve got a responsibility now to do something.”
In other business Wednesday, School Board members: