FAST test, not-so-fast results

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:
FAST test
Florida transitions to the FAST test, but it’s not as fast as some thought. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Parents continue to wait for their children’s FAST testing scores even though they should’ve been out two weeks after testing.

The new FAST is an acronym that stands for Florida Assessment of Student Thinking.

The state does not have its reporting system running yet, so it’s left to the districts to get the scores out themselves.

School districts are doing their best to get the results to parents sooner rather than later.

Nevertheless, a Lee County school spokesman explained the reason why the state’s not delivering the information is a question for the Department of Education. So, WINK News asked the Department of Education and we haven’t heard back.

Governor Ron DeSantis said Florida is the first state in the nation to fully transition to progress monitoring. And that means Florida won’t use the big end-of-the-year test, called the Florida Standards Assessments, anymore.

This school year students in grades Pre-K through tenth grade will transition to FAST testing. Fast testing consists of three rounds of shorter tests in the fall, winter, and spring.

“You’re telling me that you’re gonna have a four-year-old, sitting in front of a computer to do a standardized test, and they have to do it three times a year. Good luck,” Jessica Wood said.

Wood is the mother of two elementary school students that will be taking the FAST test this year. But, she isn’t buying the Department of Education’s argument that the series of tests will provide her with “real-time data” about her kid’s growth during the year.

Parents of kids in Pre-K through second grade should get results in seven days while results for students in third through tenth grade should take about two weeks.

For parents and students, the frustrating part is that it hasn’t worked as intended. Most students took their first FAST test weeks ago and still haven’t gotten the results.

Andrew Spar, the president of the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union told WINK News, that he’s not surprised.

“Our concern from the beginning was they weren’t putting in the law, the requirements to make that happen,” said Spar. “And here’s where we are. It’s not happening the way the governor promised.”

The goal of this transition is to get the results to teachers and parents very quickly, and then to use the information to help shape student instruction.

Click here if you’d like to see a sample of what the fast tests look like.

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