ISSUE 1: The F.A.S.T. Plan will replace FSA testing starting next school year

Goodbye FSA, hello FAST

FSA (Florida Standards Assessment)

FSA (Florida Standards Assessment)

Christian Dingle, Staff Writer

Recently, Governor Ron DeSantis announced a legislative proposal to get rid of the FSA and have it replaced with the F.A.S.T. (Florida Statewide Assessment of Student Thinking). That probably sounds bad because you’re still obligated to take an end of the year test; however, this plan is not at all bad – let me explain.

The FSA was incorporated into Florida’s education system in 1971. It’s been 50 years of the continuous old format and common core based questions that didn’t provide much information to the test administrators. Not to mention how untimely it was for teachers to administer the assessment, in which cut off time for learning. Another big problem with the FSA is that the test was not customizable to each student. This means that instead of monitoring personal growth, the test would just be the same for everyone. After so many years of having the same testing procedure, the government finally came up with a better idea for our students and teachers. Now, what makes the F.A.S.T. different?

After reviewing the surfeit amount of issues associated with the FSA, a change had to be made. The main focus of the F.A.S.T. plan was to originally decrease the test time by a whopping 75%, allowing more time for teachers to teach and students to learn. If you’re a student then you might be thinking “YAY! LESS TEST TIME!”.

While the cutting of time for tests is true, you’re probably also wondering how the decrease in time for the tests would provide the administrators with proper results about the progress of the students. To corroborate the monitoring of progress of the students, the F.A.S.T. plan introduces 3 much shorter tests throughout the year: the Fall, Winter, and Spring.

But wouldn’t this mean that teachers and administrators have to plan more? Absolutely not – by making it so that there’s not one huge test at the end of the year, this assists the students and teachers in not having to prepare for it. Don’t forget that the three tests throughout the school year are going to be much shorter than the original FSA test. With that in mind, these short little progress checks will benefit the teachers to where they’ll be able to see where the students are in terms of keeping up and learning the material. The seasonal progress checks will track the personal growth of students, so these tests will be unique for everyone.

While time management was a big factor in terms of solving all the problems affiliated with the FSA, there are more factors that had to be included into not just making the F.A.S.T. timely, but economically convenient as well. In case you didn’t know, administering the FSA costs a lot of money. Students are extremely fortunate that they don’t have to pay to take the FSA – the public school system is responsible for this. Replacing the FSA with the F.A.S.T. will decrease the costs of tests.

As stated before, this will not only will this significantly impact the students, but the teachers as well. This is such a huge improvement in our education system and many people are looking forward to it. You can expect this change to occur in the coming 2022-2023 school year. If the F.A.S.T. plan turns out to be successful, the plan will stay permanent.