ERIC Number: ED190621
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Functional Literacy Test: Florida's Approach to Competency Testing.
Tesolowski, Dennis G.
Viewpoints in Teaching and Learning, v56 n3 p67-94 Jul 1980
New minimum high school graduation standards were mandated for 1978-79 graduates, by Florida's Educational Accountability Act of 1976. Requirements included mastery of basic skills, completion of minimum course credits, and satisfactory performance on functional literacy tests. The literacy test was the primary criterion for graduation. On its first administration in Fall, 1977, 92% of Florida's eleventh graders passed the communications skills tests and 64% passed the mathematics test; in 1978, these figures were 97% and 74%. In August, 1978, the State Board of Education changed the scoring procedure and renamed the tests. The Basic Skills Tests became the State Student Assessment Test, Part I (SSAT-I), and the Functional Literacy Test became the SSAT, Part II, (SSAT-II). Because the SSAT-II appeared to violate the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, a district court in July 1979, ordered suspension of the SSAT-II as a graduation requirement until the 1982-83 school year. There were charges that the test was racially and culturally biased, and that pre-test copies of test questions had been made available to students. However, Florida has continued its assessment program (without affecting graduation), as well as subsequent remediation in mathematics, reading, and writing. (Author/GDC)
Descriptors: Academic Standards, Basic Skills, Court Litigation, Educational History, Elementary Secondary Education, Functional Literacy, Grade 11, Grade 3, Grade 5, Grade 8, Graduation Requirements, Legal Problems, Mathematics, Minimum Competency Testing, Reading Achievement, State Programs, Test Bias, Testing Problems, Testing Programs, Writing Skills
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Florida; Florida Basic Skills Test; Florida Educational Accountability Act 1976; Florida Functional Literacy Test; Florida State Student Assessment Test; Florida Statewide Assessment Program
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education (Boston, MA, April 8-10, 1980).