Parents of homeschooled students can choose to have their child take the FSA (previously FCAT) exam as the annual evaluation method. However, out of all the options, this is the LEAST popular and the LEAST recommended.
There are lots of reasons why it is not advisable to have your child take the FSA. First of all, it is not a nationally normed test. Therefore, your child’s results cannot be compared to tens of thousands of other students’ scores over the course of many years. This means that there aren’t any benchmarks that you can use to get an idea of how your child compares to other children their age on a national scale.
Secondly, the FSA does not give parents results that contain any information as to how their child is doing in individual subject areas. It is not a test that you can use to determine if they are behind or ahead in any subject. It will not help you figure out what your child’s strengths or weaknesses are.
Thirdly, and probably most importantly, the FSA is not a test designed to help you understand or improve the education of your child. The FSA is solely designed to GRADE THE SCHOOLS in Florida. The results of the tests don’t give the parents any useful information, except whether their child can pass to the next grade or not, if their child is in the public school. As a homeschooled child, that is irrelevant and useless! Therefore, to have your child take the FSA is a meaningless exercise in stress and anxiety which serves no purpose.
If you are going to have your child take the time and effort to sit for a standardized test, it makes a lot more sense to at least get some useful information out of it; information that you as the parent can use to improve and direct your child’s education. The FSA will never give you any useful information, so we highly recommend that parents not waste their time with that option.