Florida schools administers first new assessments

Paisley Rogers, a fifth-grader, raises her hand in math class at The Villages Charter School 4th and 5th Grade Center.

Local students are taking a new required state test less than a month into the school year. 

The Villages Charter School is one of the first schools to administer Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) exams, the progress-monitoring classroom tests that are part of the new Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking Standards.

The school will give the exams in the fall, winter and spring. These initial tests set the baseline to show teachers each student’s current skill level. 

“It provides data and allows us to tailor education to make our students successful,” said Rob Grant, principal of The Villages High School.

Students throughout the state from voluntary pre-kindergarten to 10th grade will take reading tests and pre-K to eighth-grade students will take math tests. 

The FAST exams replace the Florida Standards Assessments testing that was given only once at the end of each school year.

Villages Charter School students typically performed well on FSAs. In the 2021-22 school year, 75% of students from third through 10th grade scored a 3 (satisfactory) or above in English language arts — well above the state’s 52% average. In math, 79% of students in third through eighth grade scored 3 and above, also above the state’s average of 52%.

Read this story and many others in Thursday's edition of the Daily Sun.