- The State Board of Education is set to consider new “cut scores” next week, which will establish achievement levels for state standardized tests under a newly approved system.
- Proposed by Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr., the cut scores aim to measure student progress more rigorously, aligning with a 2022 law that replaced the former Florida Standards Assessments.
- Preliminary data shows that if the proposed cut scores were applied to last year’s end-of-year tests, 52% of third-graders and 48% of 10th-graders would have scored “on-grade-level” or higher in English-language arts and reading.
The State Board of Education next week is slated to weigh approval of “cut scores” that would determine achievement levels on state standardized tests under a new system of monitoring student progress. The Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2022 approved a law that replaced the former Florida Standards Assessments with a new testing system. Under the new system, exams are administered at the beginning, middle and end of each school year, with the final test of the year being used for accountability issues.
The first round of the tests was administered last academic year. Cut scores would allow measuring students’ progress against results from previous years. The state board during an Oct. 18 meeting will consider cut scores proposed by state Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. State law requires dividing results into five levels, with a middle level, Level 3, indicating “on-grade-level” performance.
The Senate Education PreK-12 Committee on Tuesday received a presentation that showed students’ results on last academic year’s end-of-year tests if the proposed cut scores had been in place. For example, on the English-language arts and reading exams, 52 percent of third-grade students would have scored a Level 3 or higher. For 10th-grade students, 48 percent would have scored a Level 3 or higher on the English-language arts and reading test. In mathematics, 42 percent of eighth grade students would have scored Level 3 or higher under the proposed cut scores.
Juan Copa, a deputy commissioner with the Department of Education, told members of the Senate committee that the proposed scoring system will set a “more rigorous bar” for student achievement than the previous testing system.
“Is it a more rigorous bar? Yes. But is it a more rigorous bar that is outside the norm of what is achievable? No,” Copa said.