"I've heard the frustrations teachers and parents have with the current FCAT system. I share their concerns. We need our testing system to evolve so there's no more teaching to the test. That's why, next year, our schools will move to a "common core" system, developed in part by Florida teachers, that emphasizes analytical problem solving over memorization and simple recitation of facts. The goal of this new testing system is to eliminate "teaching to the test" and instead will accurately measure whether our students are learning the skills they need to succeed in college and their careers. I remain a staunch advocate of student testing. There is no question that testing works and it is needed to hold the system accountable and to measure the progress of our students. But just as our students must learn and evolve, so should the testing system used to measure their progress."
Background on Common Core Standards And The New PARCC Testing System
Forty-six states have agreed to use Common Core testing standards, which, unlike the FCAT, will allow comparison of education performance across the country and will provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students need to learn to succeed in college and careers. Teachers in Florida have been active in major parts of the development of this new system.
The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is a consortium of states working to develop a common set of K-12 assessments for English language arts/literacy and mathematics, based on the Common Core State Standards. PARCC testing will be fully implemented beginning in the 2014-2015 school year for certain grade levels, including high school, in English language arts, mathematics, and end of course exams for high school Algebra I & II and Geometry.