In 2018, the Florida State Board of Education made a consecutive decision to require higher scores for alternative tests in order for students to graduate with a high school diploma, effective 2022.
This requirement would have affected many students due to the year of online schooling in 2020 and the consistent absences from COVID-19. However, through the persistence of many educational personnel across Florida, this ruling was delayed.
Before this order was held back Mrs. Durshimer, a guidance counselor at Palmetto High School, was fighting for the repeal. “There’s quite a few kids that have not gotten their concordance score yet, and it’s not just here it’s across the state,” Durshimer stated. She said that about 20% of the seniors she is a guidance counselor for still needed their concordance score. Durshimer mentioned that the adjustments would have impacted the future of many students, “kids are potentially not going to graduate from high school because they cannot get that 50-point increase on their SAT score.”
Tampa Bay Times mentioned some of the other Floridian counties struggling through this debacle, as well. They noted that this decision affected 230 seniors who had all other graduation requirements in Pinellas County and 29% of Pasco County seniors who have yet to pass the language arts requirements.
Kristin Francis, a senior at Palmetto High School, questioned the need for raising the test score, “the rising test scores don’t serve a purpose.” She referred to the issues as “stressful” and that it makes students “feel defined by their grades.” Kristin mentioned that she doesn’t find the unnecessary stress fair because the student would just “break down emotionally.”