Florida has been awash in standardized testing for years. For over a decade, the FCAT has reigned in public schools, and this year students will see FCAT’s replacement, created by AIR (American Institute for Research), a D.C.-based company that beat others out for the lucrative state testing contract.
Since No Child Left Behind became federal law, every state has been required to test every child every year in third through eighth grade in math and reading, plus once in high school. And districts have added tests in addition to state-mandated ones. For schools in Florida, state tests are tied to consequences for districts, schools and teachers as well as students. Districts are adding on benchmark, practice and interim tests, and that's how they get these multiplying and ballooning requirements. The Council of the Great City Schools found that students are taking 113 standardized tests in grades K through 12.