Amidst Testing Scandal Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson Resigns

Florida’s education commissioner Gerard Robinson announced his resignation and will leave his post by August 31 of this year. This news comes amid a lot of controversy in Florida surrounding some issues with the state’s standardized test-based accountability system. Robinson has only been in office for a year after being recruited from Virginia where he served as education secretary.

Although the reason cited for Robinson’s resignation is that he missed his family that never relocated to Florida with him, many suspect that he was the fall guy for several scandals associated with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test exams, or the FCAT. Some may be thinking that if Robinson is gone the suspicion around the testing scandal will quietly fade away with him.

The state of Florida is considered a leader on the national scale in the movement that uses standardized testing to grade public schools. Recent miscalculations of the grades at hundreds of schools forced state officials to give out new grades. In addition to the miscalculation of grades, only 27 percent of fourth graders received proficient scores which is down from 81 percent the previous year. Instead of working with students to raise the test scores, the passing score was lowered. Several school boards in Florida have passed resolutions which openly criticize the FCAT.

Unfortunately these standardized testing controversies are not the first of their kind. Schools in Atlanta, Georgia are still trying to recover after several instances of cheating and allegations of teachers erasing incorrect answers and filling correct ones to raise scores during the 2009 CRCT tests. Teachers and administrators throughout the school system have been either terminated or have resigned due to possible inappropriate conduct while administering state tests.

Florida is a model for education because many other states look to their practices. While Robinson may be on his way out, scandals surrounding the FCAT will still have to be dealt with.

Source Washington Post

Image Palm Beach Post

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