Retired educator Susan Bowles shares her perspective on two bills currently moving through the Florida legislature: SB1048 and HB1193. These bills would increase state-mandated standardized testing to three times per year, add computer-based testing requirements for students in pre-K through 2nd grade, and keep the punitive and inappropriate high stakes currently associated with the statewide testing.
Please, please look at this bill and think about the amount of time children will be TESTING and how much time it will take away from actual instruction and LEARNING. Children are the ones paying the price. Shifting away from the constant testing mentality and trusting teachers will also send the message to teachers that WE THINK YOU ARE CAPABLE AND ABLE TO ASSESS YOUR STUDENTS. Do you like to be micro-managed? Do you want someone outside of your chosen profession making decisions for you as if you know nothing? THIS is why there is a teacher shortage. I taught from 1977-2020 and was more trusted and more respected as a 22 year old than when I retired at age 65.
Teachers are capable. They teach because it is their passion, their calling, their joy. Allow them to do their jobs without robbing their teaching time. They want their students to meet their full potential more than you do.
I invite one legislator to put forth a bill that requires every legislator to spend a full week in one school and interact with the students and teachers in a meaningful way before they are allowed to vote on education bills. I invite legislators to look behind WHO is pushing this testing, testing, testing. There is a LOT of money being made with standards constantly changing so new curriculum is needed, that assessments change within a few years so billions of dollars can be spent on development, the actual testing materials and all of the test prep that goes with it. This money is desperately needed in the schools. You are robbing children of true education.
I beg you to consider the consequences of your vote. Children first. Respect and trust teachers. Invest in our future. It isn’t in numbers. It is in PEOPLE.
Contact your legislators today and ask them to VOTE NO to these bills!