State board toughens exam grading

Last month the Florida State Board of Education approved a plan to toughen the grading system for this year’s FSA exams, making them more difficult to pass than last year’s tests.

“They have come up with new proposed cut scores for the different levels for the grading system for the exams for the year-long classes like the math EOC,” school testing coordinator  Mike Drake said, “And these are all based on the previous administrations, that’s why it has taken a couple of years for them to finalize everything because you need to have a couple of calibration years. ”

The exams are designed to make sure students are ready to advance onto higher levels of education.

Sophomore Bella Shea thinks that the tougher grading system will have a positive outcome.

“The harder grading will give a more accurate reading on which students are ready to go further in school and beyond,” Shea said. “Once the students realize that the test was more difficult than expected, they may see that they need to try harder going forward.”

The new plan will affect not only how standardized testing is scored but how individual schools are graded as well because the grades will based not only on student test score but also on the students’ overall grades in their classes.

“Many students do not perform well under pressure, and the school board shouldn’t disregard semesters of hard work by the students and teachers over the year,” Shea said.

Some groups such as the Opt Out Florida Network opposed the state’s standardized testing methods, and some students feel the same way.

“Standardized tests are too broad and each class is taught differently,” sophomore Noah Carro said.  “I don’t think that they are a true test of how smart you are or how well you are doing in a subject.”

By Maddie McCluskey