Lawmakers demand answers on questionable civics test results


On the heels of a Duval County School Board member claiming that his district is “gaming the system” with artificially inflated civics test scores at a struggling school, six Republican lawmakers demanded answers Thursday from Education Commissioner Pam Stewart.

Reps. Jason FischerMichael BilecaJames GrantBob Rommel, and Jennifer Sullivan, along with Sen. Dennis Baxley, raised concerns about “Duval, Manatee and Polk County school districts potentially undermining the integrity of our state’s public school accountability system through employing questionable testing practices on the state end-of-course exam in civics.”

This threatens, per the lawmakers, the “integrity” of the process, and the school grade system itself.

“As parents of public school students and taxpayers, we share skepticism of the three counties’ testing practices with the public, and now we want to know more,” the six assert.

The questions boil down to ones of who was prevented from taking the test, how test takers were determined as eligible, who made the decisions, and how Stewart’s department will address this “manipulation of the system and avoidance of accountability.”

The full letter is here: manipulation of the system and avoidance of accountability. The lawmakers promise corrective legislation to ensure said manipulation of the system doesn’t happen again.

In a statement offered this week, the Department of Education said it had no record of a request for an investigation. Clearly, that’s not the case now.

The group’s letter is below:

Staff Reports


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