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FCAT Fallout

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

Tallahassee, Florida- August 1, 2012

It's always been a lightning rod for criticism, but it's never taken a hit quite this hard.

After docking more than two hundred schools for unusually low third grade reading scores, the state department of education announced...It messed up.

It turns out there were errors in the grading process.

Tampa congresswoman Kathy Castor is now calling on the federal government to investigate.

The mishap may also have contributed to the resignation of Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson - a charge his boss, Governor Rick Scott, denies.

The FCAT fiasco isn't the only crisis dogging the scott administration.

From elections to prisons and even the management of the governor's own office, whenever he's encountered turbulence, his top deputies have checked out.

Only a year-and-a-half into the governor's term, and *four* of his agency heads, not to mention *two different* chiefs of staff, have resigned.

Democratic Representative Alan Williams calls the turnover an indication it may be time for lawmakers to take matters into their own hands. He's calling for a special legislative session to overhaul the FCAT.

"We can get some change that Governor Scott talked about bringing, and right now the only change we've seen has been the revolving folks in those positions within his administration," said Williams.

The message...In fouling up a high-stakes test, the governor's leadership is being tested like never before.

Representative Williams says the FCAT needs to be reformed so that test scores don't determine school grades, teacher pay or whether students can advance to the next grade level.

However, the republicans who control the legislature say they're happy with the test, pointing to rising student achievement.


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