Is the New F.A.S.T Actually Faster?

Florida’s Department of Education replaces FSA for a new standardized test.

The Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST) has replaced the Florida Standard Assessment (FSA) by removing it entirely and changing it into a whole new testing format. This change was made in order to reduce the cost of testing as well the overall time it takes to test.

Newly hired Testing Coordinator Ms.Deanna Castro has been attempting to handle all of the testing in a quick and efficient manner. “In high school, you guys have significantly more testing. They don’t take the SAT, ACT or PSAT in middle school. So it’s definitely more testing [than I’m used to].”

While students aren’t stoked about taking state required tests, it’s still mandatory and the new graduation requirement every student has to pass. “I didn’t really enjoy the test. It just felt completely unnecessary. It felt like a waste of time. Like I could have been doing literally anything else. But I was sitting there doing the test,” Kirstie Vaughn (10) said.

Kristie Vaughn (10) has taken both the FSA and the new FAST.

Between the FSA and FAST test, students are bound to prefer one over the other with all their differences. “I prefer the FAST test because I believe the FSA puts too much pressure on students. It’s like your entire year depends on that one test while with the FAST test I believe that you can have a not so high score but still try again and the rest of the year.” Diego Rodriguez-Medina (9) said after his first round of FAST testing.

Ms.Castro constantly asks for feedback from teachers to improve each testing experience. “It was rough. It was a brand new test for everybody so I was learning as I went. Being in a new school, with new staff and new students on top of it, it was a challenge. The teachers here were great and I’m confident that the next test administration will be better.” Ms. Castro said.