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Petition over new Florida testing guidelines

Posted at 7:28 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-05 11:39:43-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Nearly 16,000 people have signed a petition to reverse Florida’s new rules prohibiting teachers from waking students up if they fall asleep during testing or telling them to check their work.

The Florida Department of Education updated the rules for the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) this month and thousands of people have joined forces on to stop them.

With the new rules, teachers aren’t allowed to offer incentives like snacks or rewards if students behave well during a test. FDOE said that’ll distract students.

Teachers Association of Lee County President Kevin Daly said the new guidelines don’t consider the different needs of Lee County students.

“There’s still students that may show up hungry everyday. High school kids who may have worked late the night before,” he said. “So, I think we need to embrace the individuality and the idea that each kid’s in a different place when they come to school and meet them where they’re at. And I think that these restrictions may not allow that to happen.”

FDOE said teachers can wake students up if they haven’t attempted the exam. But, they’re not allowed to encourage students to “brain dump,” or write down all their strategies once they receive their materials.

Daly said forbidding teachers to tell students to check their work and brain dump is unnecessary.

“Sometimes these things are solutions in search of a problem,” he said. “Ultimately it’s up to the student. I can say that all I want to my students. But it’s up to my students whether or not they want to heed that advice.”

The teachers who started the petition are hoping to get 25,000 before they share it with FDOE.