Florida’s Lee County schools vote to opt-out of state mandated testing

August 29, 2014

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LEE COUNTY, Fla. – The Lee County School Board voted last night 3-2 to opt their students out of state-mandated testing.  Lee County is in SW Florida and includes the city of Fort Myers.  They are the first school district in Florida to push back against an out-of-control assessment culture in the state that includes means-testing kindergarteners.

apple_resizedA local NBC affiliate reports:

Hundreds of parents turned out for the board meeting Wednesday night – pushing for this result.

This vote came after Superintendent Nancy Graham and the school board’s attorney strongly advised against making the move.  The discussion lasted a couple of hours.  During that time, the attorney insisted – despite the pleas by parents – opting out was not a good idea.  Superintendent Graham claimed it would hurt the students.

The school board originally wanted to come up with a plan. But when that motion failed, they decided to opt out of standardized testing in Florida.

“They actually have just shut down common core,” said parent Lisa Cohen.

Parents were elated when the vote to opt out of Florida state testing requirements passed so quickly.
“We made history. We’re going to keep making history,” said Cohen.

School board members Thomas Scott, Don Armstrong and Mary Fischer had the final say – pulling the Lee County School District out from under statewide testing.

  However, school board members Kathleen Morgan and Jeanne Dozier were opposed to the move. Instead, they wanted to have a plan in place before making such a drastic decision.

  “We’re going to have children that actually leave with an education; children that can actually get involved in critical thinking. They can actually make their own decisions,” said Cohen.

“I believe that we elect the school board here in Lee County and that Lee County residents are very capable of making sure our students get a good education,” said parent David Stokes.

A school board that actually listens to the people who elected them, how refreshing, and one that doesn’t allow itself to be led by the nose by the district superintendent.

The superintendent Nancy Graham said teachers are “freaking out” and that they “will have no idea where to go.”  Is she saying her teachers don’t know how to teach without assessments?  What a sad commentary if that is the case.

Below are videos courtesy of Suzette Lopez.

Here is video of the school board meeting.  The vote begins at the 51:15 mark.

Below is video of the public comments during the meeting.

This is a testimony from a mom whose son is fighting a terminal disease and was in the hospital when the school district sent over a proctor to administer the FCAT. While he was in the hospital! This is INSANE.

Authored by Shane Vander Hart

Published with permission

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