NAPLES, Fla. — With Florida school districts about to officially change standardized testing, parents are now able to look at the final 2021-2022 school year numbers. This is the first time student test scores reflect a full classroom in Collier County since before the pandemic.
For perspective in 2018-2019, 57 percent of Collier County Public School students that take the reading test scored a level three or above, meaning they passed. In math — a much higher number. 66 percent of students passed.
"I’ve always loved the idea that education is the way out," said Ashley Saldarriaga, a teacher for CCPS. "Typically if the student doesn't know why they're doing something, they're not going to care as much."
This year, new numbers from the Florida Department of Education show students had the same exact scores in the 2021-2022 school year, going back to pre-pandemic numbers. The school district also earned an "A" rating again.
"I think it's encouraging to kids," said Dr. Kamela Patton, the district superintendent.
Saldarriaga and other teachers are heading back to the classroom in five weeks. They're also preparing for the new standardized testing, called progress monitoring. It's a testing system CCPS already uses for their own tracking.
According to the DOE, progress monitoring will consist of three shorter tests in the fall, winter, and spring.
"We’re providing additional days to have teachers come back early for three full days that they can get ahead of those standards before when they normally come back in," Patton explained.
Board member Jen Mitchell says she thinks the key to improving will be early childhood education and professional development.
"We know that we obviously still have work to do as does every district in the state," Mitchell said.
Saldarriaga, who will teach second grade this year, is already getting ahead of the curve by building a foundation with students and being upfront about what they need to work on.
"So just them progressively understanding that they need to go up and that going up even if it’s just a small little bit — forward is forward, no matter the pace," she explained.
To look at your child's test scores, you'll need to log into their online account. For overall district scores this year, click here.