Students across the state, including right here in Central Florida, are preparing to take the Florida Standards Assessment beginning Monday, Feb. 29.
ut school district officials across the state are already raising concerns about running into computer delays like they did in 2015.
- Florida Department of Education FSA testing guidelines for districts ▼
- Seminole County Public Schools FSA testing report ▼
Seminole High School sophomore Amy Sheffield says taking the FSA last year was frustrating, to say the least.
“Last year was really frustrating, especially for the teachers, because they need that time to teach and they’re really pushed with their curriculum and what they have to fit into teaching," she said. "And if there’s a teacher proctoring, all the students get sent to gym, and we just sit there and do nothing."
Sheffield says computer glitches delayed testing frequently, and ultimately cut into valuable instruction time.
“When we all click to take the test, there are hundreds of people clicking it at the same time so that’s going to cause the computers to crash,” said Sheffield. “And they did, multiple times last year.”
School districts across the state are doing test runs ahead of the launch of the FSA. In Seminole County, testing administrators say everything on their end went well with only minor issues.
But county testing administrators, along with officials with other school districts across the state, are already reporting problems with the test after doing practice runs. Those officials say the problems they are experiencing are similar to what they experienced last year.
For example, students reported while they were taking a test run of the FSA back on Feb. 11, their computer screens just froze up. Other students say they got completely kicked off the test.
We reached out to state education officials, who say the test runs are doing exactly what they are supposed to do – to find problems ahead of the start of actual testing. They say they are working with local school districts to resolve the issues.
Seminole County school administrators say they a prepared to adjust to problems if they come up at the state level.
Sheffield says she’s already expecting more of what happened during FSA testing last year.
“I’m not worried about the test itself," she said. "I’m just annoyed. It’s a very annoying process. It’s frustrating."
Open in a new tab: Florida Department of Education FSA testing, Feb. 4, 2016 (PDF)
Open in a new tab: Seminole County Public Schools FSA testing report, Feb. 11, 2016 (PDF)