Fed up with testing woes, Seminole County considers going back to pencil, paper

Seminole County Schools Superintendent Walt Griffin is urging the Florida Department of Education to ditch the computerized Florida Standards Assessment and replace it with paper and pencil exams in the next school year.

Griffin sent a letter to Education Commissioner Pam Stewart Monday in an effort to “identify a solution to reduce the number of hours students are engaged in state mandated testing.”

The letter goes on to read: “Respectfully, the 2014-2015 administration of the FSA failed to achieve [it’s] goal and…was far too disruptive to valuable instruction time.”

The Florida Standards Assessment was administered for the first time in the 2014-2015 school year to test students on the Florida Standards, the state’s new Common Core-aligned curriculum.

Griffin said Florida high school students spent 31 days testing.  Middle school students spent 29 days testing.  

"I could administer and test an entire school in 4 hours and let teachers teach and students learn,” he told FOX 35.

In his letter to Tallahassee Griffin urged the Department of Education to replace the computerized exams with paper-based Iowa Assessment exams for elementary and middle school students and the PSAT/SAT for the 9th and 10th grade students.

"Both suggestions that we gave are aligned to common core.  It would give us the analysis that we need to compare our students nationally," he said.  

Griffin said he knows that the state has a lot invested in the computerized tests and replacing them will take time, but he hopes his letter gets the process going.  

A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Education told FOX 35 the department received the letter and it is working on a response.