No Promotion for Gadsden County Fifth Graders Who Failed FCAT

It's not just third graders feeling the pressure. Fifth grader Lashaveante Lightfoot is in danger of not making it to the sixth grade.

However, you won't find evidence of this on her report card.

"It's not a bad report card, C's and B's, but no D's, I just don't understand,” explains Lasaveante’s mother Anastasia McMillan.

You see, Lashaveante failed the FCAT and in Gadsden County no matter what your report card reflects, fail the FCAT and fail the fifth grade, but there is one option, a polished portfolio can pay admission to the next grade.

"If we can show mastered skills, not just FCAT there's a possibility that child can move on,” says Supt. Sterling Dupont.

Statewide there is no policy when it comes to fifth graders and the FCAT, each district is left to put into motion their own practice.

For Gadsden County that means 4th-8th graders must receive passing marks in reading, writing and math, they must also score at level two or above on the FCAT. A hard lesson to learn for 10-year-old Lasheaventa, who just one year ago was awarded for high FCAT marks.

"It makes me mad, how one all of a sudden I can just fall down,” comments Lightfoot.

Third graders who fail the FCAT are under state mandate to be retained. In Gadsden County, roughly 70 third graders are in jeopardy of failing.