Tests Don’t Make Kids Smarter: A Letter to Governor DeSantis

As this parent learned, and most parents and teachers know, children are much more than test scores. Tests can’t predict how successful a child will be in life. They can’t measure independence, resilience, kindness, diligence, or all of the other qualities we all want our children to master. Why then, does Governor DeSantis want to require our students to take yet another test to demonstrate mastery of civics in high school?

Ironically, because of bad policy and decisions at the state level, elementary school students are often not receiving as much social studies instruction as they used to. With the introduction of the Florida Standards (i.e. Common Core) and the test-focused accountability system, social studies has taken a backseat to other subjects in elementary school. Parents and teachers across the state have been saying for years that they wish younger children could have more social studies instruction.

In addition to that, Civics is already a mandated subject in middle school. If Governor DeSantis knew what Civics lessons were already being taught, there would be no need for him to announce an extra test in the same subjects students have thoroughly been tested on as mandated by the state of Florida.

Is the Governor aware that this is a state-created problem that cannot be fixed with yet another test in 12th grade?

Dear Governor Ron DeSantis,

Doesn’t Florida administer enough tests?

Learning, not testing is a wonderful goal. But, have you considered the reality of your decision and how it would truly play out?

Civics is already mandated in middle school, along with a mandatory state-wide Civics exam. Are you seriously considering using tax payer money to double teach AND double test?

As a graduation requirement, high school students are mandated to pass US Government, World History, and US History with mandatory EOC’s (end-of-course exams)

This double testing will be another burden on taxpayers. The testing schedule throughout the year (especially mid-terms and end of year) is wreaking enough havoc as it is. Kids are often placed in cafeterias, gymnasiums, and auditoriums to sit with nothing to do for hours, days, and often weeks at a time just to make room in our classrooms and libraries for them to take tests. Kids are shifted around all day, with no “real learning”, all for these tests.

Please listen to the parents, teachers AND kids about what’s really happening in our schools. (It is clear, you are not.)

Who is advising you? I’m going to guess; it’s probably people who are trying to service 10% of the students in Florida.

FYI – 90% of Florida students attend Public Schools. You, Governor DeSantis, are truly not seeing what happens during testing season because you are not there to see it for yourself. You could not possibly understand how this will affect 90% of students in Florida. If you knew, this extra test would not be a priority. Please stop.

Tests don’t make kids smarter.

Laura McCrary
Parent Advocate and concerned citizen



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