Poll: Have You Had It With FCAT?
The backlash against the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is growing as plummeting scores on the writing test for students in grades 4, 8 and 10 raise serious concerns about the newly enacted scoring standards.
The Florida State Board of Education has called for an emergency session today, May 15, to consider what to do with the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in the wake of plummeting writing grades.
A preliminary release of results from the Florida Department of Education shows a drop in scores from 81 percent to 27 percent for fourth-graders scoring a 4.0 or better. The drop was to 48 percent for a score of 3.5 or better.
The test's scoring range is from 0 to 6.
Similar results were posted for students in grades 8 and 10 (see chart below).
The Tampa Bay Times reports that State Sen. David Simmons, the Repubican chairman of the Senate education appropriations panel, had expressed concerns that the state board was moving too fast in implementing new FCAT scoring standards. "Simmons had moved during session to hold funding for some of the changes, but backed off amid Gov. [Rick] Scott's promises that the issue would be dealt with administratively," according to the report.
The Miami Herald reported on a petition against the FCAT gaining traction throughout the state, urging less of a reliance on standardized test scores to evaluate students, schools and teachers.
The Hillsborough County Council PTA/PTSA asks on its Facebook page, "Is this fair to kids? Adults change the rules and then tell the kids they are not doing so well. We have to make sure any changes are student-centered at the very least. Failing 50 percent more children for no reason does not meet the standard. Please let the Board of Eduation know that their decisions should focus on what is best for students and should only be made with real parent input."
We ask parents locally to weigh in on the issue as well, in the poll posted below.