No Penalty, For Now, If “Mandatory” Test Isn’t Taken
BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com
BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — The Palm Beach County School District concedes it is engaged in mixed messaging about the FSA’s — the Florida Standards Assessment that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is mandating for all students 3rd grade and higher. The test must be taken in person — even if the student is engaged in distance learning.
But repeated messaging from the Palm Beach County School District suggests it’s optional. A letter sent home Friday to fifth grade parents says: “please log in to the Student Portal… this will allow you to acknowledge whether your child will or will not return to campus to complete their state assessment opportunity.”
A school district spokesperson agreed the language is inconsistent with a “mandate,” and said one of the issues is that it’s unclear what would happen if someone doesn’t take the test.
“We want the test to be diagnostic this year,” said a senior school district official. “We don’t want it to count for grades or graduation.”
For now, there is no penalty for not taking the exam. There is significant concern that mass testing will create a super-spreader event. Only half of the school district’s 180,000 student body is engaged in “in person” learning. Requiring all students in grade 3 and higher to return for in-person testing is incompatible with social distancing.
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