Testing

Polk County Public Schools administers assessments to students in grades pre-kindergarten to 12th grade to measure their achievement on Florida’s education standards, which were developed and implemented to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready for success in college, career, and life. Assessment supports instruction and student learning, and test results help district leaders and stakeholders determine whether the goals of the curriculum and instruction are being met.

The following statewide assessments will be administered this year.

Florida Standards Assessments (FSA)

  • Kindergarten — Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS)
  • Grades 3-10 — English Language Arts (ELA) – Reading/listening component
  • Grades 4-10 — English Language Arts (ELA) – Writing component
  • Grades 3-8 — Mathematics
  • Algebra 1 End-of-Course (EOC)
  • Geometry End-of-Course (EOC)

Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) Assessments

  • Grades 5 and 8 Statewide Science Assessment
  • Biology 1 End-of-Course (EOC)
  • Civics End-of-Course (EOC)
  • U.S. History End-of-Course (EOC)

SAT Scholastic Assessment Test

For more information, visit CollegeBoard.org

  • Aug. 25, 2018
  • Oct. 6, 2018
  • Nov. 3, 2018
  • Dec. 1, 2018
  • March 9, 2019
  • May 4, 2019
  • June 1, 2019

ACT American College Test

For more information, visit ACTStudent.org

  • Sept. 8, 2018
  • Oct. 27, 2018
  • Dec. 8, 2018
  • Feb. 9, 2019
  • April 13, 2019
  • June 8, 2019
  • July 13, 2019

State and National Assessment Descriptions

Link to State or National Test

Description/Purpose/Use

This assessment is designed to measure the progress of English Language Learners (ELLs) toward proficiency in English.  Results will be used for programmatic decisions and evaluation.
The ACT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject areas tests in English, Mathematics, Reading, Science, and an optional Writing test, that are designed to assess academic readiness for college. The ACT includes 215 multiple-choice questions and takes 3 1/2 – 4 hours to complete (depending on Writing test).  Each subtest, excluding writing, results in a test score of 1-36, which are then averaged together to generate an overall composite score of 1-36.
These standardized exams are designed to measure mastery of the content and skills of the specific Advanced Placement course.  A proficient score can lead to credit and advanced placement in college.
The Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener is required within the first 30 days of instruction.  It measures Kindergarten readiness and collects information about a child’s overall development.  Results are used to inform classroom instruction and to calculate ‘Readiness Rate’ for VPK providers.
Florida’s K-12 assessment system is designed to measure student achievement of Florida’s state education standards, including gains and progress. The Florida Standards were developed and implemented with the goal of ensuring that all students graduate from high school ready for success in college, career and life. Assessment data is used to guide and support instruction and student learning, as well as evaluate program and instructional effectiveness. Grade 3 and Grade 10 ELA results have important implications for retention and graduation purposes.

The following Florida Standards Assessments will be administered in 2018-19: Grades 3–10 English Language Arts (Writing component in grades 4–10), Grades 3–8 Mathematics.

The FSA EOCs are designed to measure educational gains and progress toward mastery of the Florida Standards for the following courses: Algebra 1 and Geometry.  Additionally, these assessments are used as evaluative tools to determine program and instructional effectiveness.  The EOC scores count toward 30% of the student’s overall course grade.  Furthermore, passing the Algebra 1 EOC is a graduation requirement.
The Florida Standards Alternate Assessment is designed to measure academic performance of students with significant cognitive disabilities for whom participation in the general statewide assessment is not appropriate, even with accommodations.
These assessments are for those students currently participating in the district’s International Baccalaureate Program.  The Diploma Programme primarily focuses on summative assessment designed to record student achievement at or towards the end of the course of study.  The approach to assessment used by IB is criterion-related, not norm-referenced. This approach to assessment judges students’ work by their performance in relation to identified levels of attainment, and not in relation to the work of other students.
NGSSS EOCs

(practice test)

The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards assessments for Biology 1, US History (high school), and Civics (middle school) are criterion-referenced assessments that measure student achievement on the NGSSS for the specific course.   Additionally, these assessments are used as evaluative tools to determine program and instructional effectiveness.  The EOC scores count toward 30% of the student’s overall course grade.
The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (P.E.R.T.) is an untimed, computer-based, adaptive test, specifically developed for Florida to determine if students are college-ready in reading, writing, and mathematics. Adaptive tests change the difficulty of questions the student receives based on his/her answers to previous questions. The P.E.R.T. consists of 30 multiple-choice questions/subtest.
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test measures reading, writing, language, and mathematics skills, as well as progress toward college and career readiness.  It also serves as the official route for entry into the National Merit Scholarship Program.  The test takes 2 hours and 45 minutes and consists of 139 questions/tasks.
The SAT is a national college admissions examination that consists of subject areas tests in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (Reading Test and Writing & Language Test), Mathematics, and Essay (optional) that are designed to assess academic readiness for college. The total test time is approximately 3 hours, plus 50 minutes for the optional essay.  Scores range from 200-800 per subtest for a possible total score of 1600. Essay results are reported separately.
This assessment is used to assess student achievement in terms of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) for 5th and 8th grade students.

Frequently Asked Questions about State Assessments

How can parents and famililes help their students to prepare for the state assessments?

Parents and families can promote student success by staying involved in their student’s education, offering positive support and feedback, and encouraging their child to relax and do his or her very best. By staying connected with their student’s school and teachers, and taking advantage of online resources, such as school websites and portals, parents and families can stay informed and be equipped to meet the needs of their student at home. To help students, parents/guardians, and educators prepare for test days, the Florida Department of Education provides many resources, including practice tests, which are available at the following links:

If a student does not take the third-grade Florida Standards Assessment-English Language Arts (FSA–ELA) , can a student be promoted to fourth grade without that score?

Third-grade students must participate in the statewide standardized assessment program as required by section 1008.22, F.S., and demonstrate proficiency in reading in order to be promoted to fourth grade.

Students who do not have an FSA score must demonstrate proficiency on every standard through the district’s third-grade reading portfolio. If proficiency is not demonstrated on every standard, students will be required to attend summer school to continue working on the portfolio. Students who do not demonstrate proficiency through the portfolio or through the Star Reading Assessment, Istation’s ISIP Reading Assessment, or the SAT-10 Reading Assessment will be retained, unless they qualify for one of the following Good Cause Exemptions outlined in statute 1008.25:

  1. Limited English proficient students who have had less than two years of instruction in an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program based on the initial date of entry into a school in the United States.
  2. Students with disabilities whose individual education plan indicates that participation in the statewide assessment program is not appropriate, consistent with the requirements of s.1008.212.
  3. Students who demonstrate an acceptable level of performance on an alternative standardized reading or English language arts assessment approved by the State Board of Education. For Polk County this is the SAT-10 Reading Assessment.
  4. Students who demonstrate through portfolios that they are performing at least at Level 2 on the statewide, standardized English language arts assessment.
  5. Students with disabilities who take the statewide, standardized English language arts assessment and who have individual education plans or Section 504 plans that reflect that they have received intensive instruction in reading or English language arts for more than two years but still demonstrate deficiencies and were previously retained in kindergarten, first, second, or third grade.
  6. Students who have received intensive reading intervention for two or more years but still demonstrate deficiencies in reading and who were previously retained in kindergarten, first, second or third grade for a total of two years. A student may not be retained more than once in third grade.
  7. Students who have received intensive remediation in reading or English language arts for two or more years but still demonstrate deficiencies and who were previously retained in kindergarten, first, second or third grade for a total of two years. Intensive instruction for students so promoted must include an altered instructional day that includes specialized diagnostic information and specific reading strategies.
On what specific days will the FSA and EOC exams be administered? Are the FSA and EOC exams computer- or paper-based?

Please see the 2018-2019 Uniform Statewide Assessment Calendar for the specific dates of the FSA and EOC exams, as well the format (computer- or paper-based) of each assessment. Please be advised that the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) may make changes to this document.

Does the FSA count toward student's grades?

The FSA Math and English Language Arts tests do not count toward the student’s grade in a subject. However, there are state requirements that the Algebra 1, Biology, Civics (middle school), Geometry, and U.S. History (high school) EOC exams each count for 30 percent of the student’s final course grade.

What alternative assessment(s) may be administered to my third-grade child who has scored a Level 1 on the FSA to determine if he/she qualifies for a good cause exemption and promotion to the fourth grade?

For 2018-19: Students who have not achieved a Level 2 or higher on the statewide assessment may qualify for a good cause exemption. Polk County Public Schools uses the STAR Reading Assessment, the Istation ISIP Reading Assessment, and the Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (SAT-10) as the alternative assessments. Rule 6A-1.094221 (1)(A), F.A.C., authorizes the use of the following nationally norm-referenced tests for the determination of a good cause exemption for promotion to fourth grade:

  • Stanford Achievement Test, Tenth Edition (SAT-10) – scoring above the 45th percentile
  • STAR Reading Assessment – scoring at or above the 50th percentile
  • Istation ISIP Reading Assessment – scoring at or above the 50th percentile

Polk County Public Schools fully supports the option of third-grade portfolios as outlined in Section 1008.25(6)(b)4 F.S., which states that a student who demonstrates through a portfolio that he/she is performing at least at Level 2 on the statewide standardized assessment is eligible for a good cause exemption.

What are the consequences for a student who does not take the Algebra 1 EOC at the completion of the Algebra course or a 10th grade student who does not take the FSA-ELA?

It is a graduation requirement for students to earn a passing score on the Algebra 1 EOC exam, as well as the 10th grade FSA-ELA. A student who does not have a passing score on the 10th grade FSA-ELA test and/or the Algebra I EOC will be eligible to retake the appropriate exam(s) during the next administration window or may utilize the following:

  • A concordant score on the SAT or ACT to meet the 10th grade FSA-ELA requirement. See chart below.
  • A comparative score on the PERT, PSAT, SAT or ACT to meet the Algebra 1 EOC requirement. See chart below.
  • Concordant/comparative scores will earn the student a standard high school diploma, not a certificate of completion.

Home Education Students

Please review the Home Education Packet for specific testing requirements.

Fall 2018 FSA (Algebra 1, Geometry) & NGSSS (Biology, Civics, U.S. History) End of Course (EOC) Exams

Private School Students

Summer 2019 FSA (Algebra 1, Geometry) & NGSSS (Biology, Civics, U.S. History) End of Course (EOC) Exams

  • Testing window: July 15-18, 2019
  • More information will be available in May 2019