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Florida Advocates Continue To Ask The State To Delay The Annual English Proficiency Test

Photo: Angelina Litvin
Photo: Angelina Litvin

Florida advocates continue to ask the state to delay the annual English proficiency test meant for non-native English speakers in public schools. It takes place later this month — in person. 

The non-profit Alianza Center started a petition yesterday. It urges the Florida Department of Education to consider the risk factors in offering no remote options for the exam, called ACCESS. They are also asking that there be no consequences to students who decide not to attend. Rosa Castro Feinberg is a long-time advocate for English language learners and a former Miami Dade school board member. "La prueba es buena y la información es valiosa. En un año normal. Pero todos sabemos que esto no es un año normal. Se espera que los niños que en este momento están estudiando en su casa salgan de la seguridad del hogar para entrar en la escuela para ir a tomar la prueba." She says "The exam is good and the information is valuable — in a normal year. But we all know this isn’t a normal year. We’re expecting students who are right now learning from home, to leave the safety of their home and enter the school to go and take the exam.” During an online webinar last night Feinberg said the exam is long and can sometimes take several days. Last month, state-wide advocates and educators sent a letter to State Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran. It asks that the exam be voluntary in 2021. The exam is expected to begin January 25th.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.