FAQs for Private Schools Participating in the State Assessment Program
Private School Participation
Private schools that participate in the Florida Tax Credit (FTC), Gardiner, Hope, or Family Empowerment scholarship programs and have at least one participating student enrolled may administer the statewide, standardized assessments to all students who attend the private school in grades 3 through 10, as long as the number of private school students participating statewide does not exceed the state’s contractual caps. More information about the available assessments can be found at http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/assessments/k-12-student-assessment/.
No. While schools with students participating in the FTC, Gardiner, Hope, and Family Empowerment scholarship programs are required to administer and report scores for one of the Department-approved norm-referenced tests, the statewide assessments are only one possible option and are not required.
Statute requires that private schools interested in administering statewide, standardized assessments must submit a completed application no later than March 1 each year in order to participate in the statewide assessment program for the subsequent school year (e.g., applications for the 2020-2021 school year are due March 1, 2020). Applications will be posted by January of each year at http://www.fldoe.org/accountability/assessments/k-12-student-assessment/private-schools/.
Applications will be reviewed to determine scholarship participant enrollment and ability to properly and securely administer assessments, as well the ability to meet the required technical specifications if administering computer-based assessments. Applications will be evaluated, and eligible schools selected, subject to contractual cap limits.
No. Statute requires that there be no cost to participating private schools that meet the eligibility requirements (i.e., schools with proper facilities and equipment, sufficient staffing).
If a private school chooses to administer statewide assessments, all students in the applicable grade(s)/subject(s) should be tested (e.g., schools administering the grade 4 Mathematics assessment should administer it to all fourth grade students). Private schools will identify which assessments they intend to administer and estimate participation numbers on the application to participate in the statewide assessment program.
Additional students may be assessed if the statewide total student and school contractual cap limits have not yet been met. Requests to administer assessments to additional students will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
Yes. Statute allows for the use of statewide assessments to satisfy testing requirements for the applicable scholarships, as indicated on the Norm-Referenced Assessment list posted on the Department website.
Private schools will not be required to administer statewide assessments, even after having been accepted into the program. However, failure to notify the Department of Education in a timely manner of intent to not participate in a requested assessment administration may impact future participation in the statewide assessment program.
Preparing to Administer Statewide Assessments
Eligible schools may request to administer assessments in the fall, winter, spring, and/or summer administrations of the school year for which they have applied to participate. Private schools will indicate on their application in which administrations they intend to participate.
Each private school will designate one employee as the private school assessment coordinator; that individual will be required to attend a training provided by the local public school district. The private school assessment coordinator will then train additional administrators and staff at the private school who will be involved with testing procedures and administration. Additionally, all staff involved with testing must also read and follow directions in the appropriate test administration manual(s), guides, and any additional instructions from the Department.
Yes. Private schools administering statewide assessments are not required to administer all assessments to students at the private school. Private schools will indicate on their application which of the available statewide assessments they wish to administer.
No. Each assessment the private school chooses to administer should be administered to all applicable students. For example, grade 7 Mathematics should be administered to all seventh grade students; the Algebra 1 end-of-course (EOC) assessment should be administered to all students enrolled in an Algebra 1 course.
The Florida Department of Education does not regulate private schools. The private school’s administration is responsible for communicating student assessment policy decisions to parents.
Scores will be available directly through the applicable testing platform, to which the private school administrator will have access. Additionally, printed score reports will be securely shipped to the public school district in which the private school is geographically located, and that office will then make the score reports available to the private school. Eligible, participating private schools will work with districts to manage the distribution and retrieval of test materials, including student score reports.
Eligible, participating private schools will be responsible for providing score reports to parents.
If your school chooses to use the statewide assessment to fulfill the testing requirement for the statewide scholarship programs, then your school is responsible for submitting scores of scholarship students to LSI.
No. Private school students participating in statewide assessments are excluded from aggregate reporting data.
Private schools participating in statewide assessments will not receive a school grade. However, statute requires the designated independent research organization to annually report on the year-to-year learning gains of statewide scholarship students according to each participating private school in which there are at least 30 students who have scores for tests administered for two consecutive years at that private school.
Yes. The public school district should contact the Department if the student no longer has access to his/her score report and the public school needs to verify the student’s test score(s).
No. The Department will give the designated private school assessment coordinator access to the applicable testing platform(s). The private school assessment coordinator will then determine which additional private school staff, if any, will also be given access. Public school district personnel will not have access to the private school’s data through the testing platform. Additionally, printed score reports that are shipped to the district office are packaged securely by school. District staff are only responsible for receiving the boxes and providing the secure shipment to the private school assessment coordinator. Any individual with access must preserve the confidentiality of such information and must report student performance data in a manner that protects the rights of students and parents as mandated in 20 U.S.C. s. 1232g, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
Placement of students that may transfer from a private school to a public school will follow district policies as outlined in the student progression plan.