standardized testing

New SAT To Debut On March 5

Feb 24, 2016
Alberto G. / Flickr

The SAT is undergoing a big change, with a new version of it debuting in a few weeks.

One of the biggest changes that college-bound students can look forward to is the vocabulary section.

The current test contains words or language that you’re not likely to ever use or hear again. Case in point: “antediluvian” - meaning the period before the biblical flood.

The new one will contain more commonly used words to define.

Standardized tests tied to the Common Core are under fire in lots of places for lots of reasons. But who makes them and how they're scored is a mystery.

For a peek behind the curtain, I traveled to the home of the nation's largest test-scoring facility: San Antonio.

The facility is one of Pearson's — the British-owned company that dominates the testing industry in the U.S. and is one of the largest publishing houses behind these mysterious standardized tests.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

John Oliver spent 18 minutes taking on standardized testing, teacher evaluations and all things “accountability” related on his show, “Last Week Tonight.”

And, of course, Florida plays a starring role.

Warning: Salty language, off-color jokes and test monkeys ahead.

Florida Roundup: Health Care And Budget Plan Gaps

Apr 24, 2015
Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald

  On the Florida Roundup, here are the week's topics we discuss.

Health Coverage Gap

About 850,000 Floridians live in the health coverage gap -- they don't earn enough for subsidies through the Affordable Care Act but they don't qualify for Medicaid. However, they would benefit from Medicaid expansion if it was enacted in the state.  Lawmakers haven't come to an agreement.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard...

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard...

Ready Or Not, Students, The New Florida Exam Is Here

Feb 27, 2015
Extra Ketchup

At Miami's iPrep Academy, getting ready for the state's new standardized test includes rapping.

Two students are recording the daily announcements, telling classmates when and where they need to be starting today.

"Monday is ninth graders, with last name A to G," one student raps, in a rhyme that's no threat to Miami's Rick Ross.

"On Tuesday, it’s ninth graders with last name H through Z," his partner continues.

"All testing is in room 2 - 0 - 4!" they conclude together, Beastie Boys-style.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:


Across Florida, parents and teachers are pushing back against standardized testing in public schools. One way is simply “opting out” – or keeping their children from taking the test.

And now a national organization opposed to public education's reliance on standardized tests is bringing its message to Fort Lauderdale.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:

Florida Roundup: What's Ahead In 2015

Jan 2, 2015
Gertrud K. / Flickr

  Editor's note: This is a pre-recorded episode.

In this episode of The Florida Roundup, we discuss what's ahead for Floridians in the new year. 


A few political possibilities hang in the air for 2015. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is making way for a 2016 presidential run. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez reconsiders his party affiliation. While this isn't an election year, candidates will make their future intentions known.  

Ryan McGilchrist/flickr

Teacher and parent groups say Florida public school students are spending too much time taking – and getting ready for - assessments.

Now, Senate President Andy Gardiner says lawmakers will likely hold hearings to review the amount of testing being done.

Pearson K-12 Technology/flickr

“Opt Out” groups are pushing back against what they say is too much standardized testing in Florida. The tests are changing as the state transitions to Florida Standards - an offshoot of the Common Core standards being implemented around the country.