'Progress monitoring' to become new Florida standard for student growth

With Florida standardized testing soon to be a thing of the past, the plan is to make "progress monitoring" the new standard for student development. 

"We were talking about student growth as opposed to an arbitrary number that some policymaker sets that students must achieve," said President of Florida Education Association Andrew Spar. 

That means teachers will be getting test results three times a year as a part of the progress monitoring model. 

This allows educators to compare results to assess an individual student's progress. This gives them a real-time look at a student’s development. 

"Those early two assessments in September and January are truly diagnostic to give feedback to teachers, parents, and administrators to see where the student is and how they’re progressing and make adjustments as necessary," Spar said. 

Every district in the state already does progress monitoring, which will become the new standard for the 2022-23 school year.  Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says the elimination of the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) will reduce testing by 75%. 

"It’s actually a very big win for teachers and actually for students," said President of Volusia United Educators Elizabeth Albert.

Teachers are rejoicing over the announcement, saying progress monitoring has more benefits. 

The 2020 Seminole County Teacher of the Year Sarah Hall has been using progress monitoring with her students for the last 17 years to their benefit. 

"By analyzing the data and by targeted individualized interventions in a timely manner to be able to mitigate student achievement gaps," Hall said. 

Educators also say progress monitoring limits stress for students and teachers, allows for more focused teaching and the ability to make corrections throughout the school year. 

"Going back to the fundamentals of what we know," Albert said. "We do the best to move students academically."

The state will be coming up with a new outline for progress monitoring. It is something that will be developed over the next year.

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