Group Opposes FCAT Retention Policy

The “Florida Coalition for Assessment Reform” says the state held back 40,000 third-graders who failed the FCAT in 2002,

The coalition says the policy hurts more than it helps.

“As a school counselor, I can’t tell you the number of times I have sat with youngsters and with parents who are absolutely devastated by this practice. As Gloria said earlier, punishment, threat, only increases anxiety. This is not the way we want to educate our children.”

The group is hosting a conference this weekend to kick off its efforts to convince lawmakers to rethink the policy.

The state says its third grade retention policy is aimed at getting more help to struggling students and ending the “social promotion” that moves students to the next grade before they’re ready.