UPDATE: FCAT Hotline Now Being Offered

By: Eyewitness News, AP
By: Eyewitness News, AP

UPDATE: May 22, 2012:

Seven hundred parents contacted the Department of Education on the first day of a new hotline and web site for FCAT information. The outreach was prompted by a disastrous drop in writing scores that forced the state to lower its grading standard.

The calls keep coming.

“Thank you for calling the Florida Department of Education’s FCAT 2.0 call center.”

Two hundred fifty people called on the first day of a first ever FCAT hot line for parents.

“Everybody is just a little concerned,” Hotline operator Jasmine Hopkins said. “Everybody wants to know where the scores are. They have questions regarding why the FCAT is important. You know, just typical parent questions. Some are friendly, and some are not so friendly.”

The hotline was created after the state realized it wasn’t doing a good job of communicating changes in FCAT scores.

“We discovered that there was a large gap between what we were putting out and what our parents knew,” Hotline Supervisor Kelly Seay said.

In addition to the calls, another 400 parents visited a first ever web site for questions and answers.

What they saw was a feel good video.

“Classes will be tougher and tests will be harder, but I know our students will meet the challenge.”

But another video, titled “Standardized Tests Epic Fail” has gotten almost a quarter million hits.

“It’s standardized! You can’t keep changing the standard.”

Back at the hot line, many of the callers wanted information on FCAT reading scores, which haven’t yet been released.

“At this time we don’t know exactly how third grade has done,” Seay said.

The reading scores will determine pass or fail for some students. They are expected to be out late this week or early next.

The hotline is operating from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will be operational until at least the end of June. The number is 1.866.507.1109

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Tallahassee, FL -- May 22, 2012 --

Please note that the FCAT 2.0 Call Center does not have individual student assessment results. When FCAT results become available, they are provided to school districts and subsequently sent home to parents from local school administrators.

DOE experts will be available to answer parent questions from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Parents may call 866-507-1109, toll-free, to ask questions about FCAT testing, recent changes to Florida’s accountability system, and how this impacts students and teachers.

For more information about resources available to parents, visit http://www.fldoe.org/news/2012/2012_05_21-2.asp.

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Tallahassee, FL -- May 21, 2012 --

The state Department of Education is launching a campaign to give parents more information about the new, tougher version of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

It was launched Monday, six days after the State Board of Education passed an emergency rule lowering scores on the FCAT 2.0 writing exam.

The rule allowed about 80 percent of students to pass -- the same as last year. Otherwise, only about a third of students would have passed.

One part of the campaign is a call center where parents can get questions answered from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The toll-free number is 866-507-1109.

There's also a website with information at http://www.floridapathtosuccess.org/ and a public forum at http://parents.fldoe.org/home .

Parents also can ask questions and voice opinions through email at justforparents(at)fldoe.org.

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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION LAUNCHES STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN TO COMMUNICATE WITH PARENTS

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Education (DOE) today launched a host of resources geared toward communicating directly with Florida’s parents about public education. The purpose of this effort is to help parents understand Florida’s assessment and accountability system, increased standards, and how these changes will help prepare our K-12 students for college, career, and life.

“Florida’s parents and guardians provide invaluable support to our students and the department is committed to ensuring they have the most accurate user-friendly information and resources available,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “We are asking more from our students and teachers than we ever have, and parents play a critical role in Florida’s path forward.”

New resources for parents include an FCAT 2.0 Call Center, Florida’s Path to Success website, DOE Parent Portal by Novachi, and Just for Parents e-mail address. See below for details about these resources.

FCAT 2.0 Call Center

Beginning today, DOE experts will be available to answer parent questions from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Parents may call 866-507-1109, toll-free, to ask questions about FCAT, recent changes to Florida’s accountability system, and how this impacts students and teachers.

Florida’s Path to Success

Visit the Florida’s Path to Success website to find out more information about our transition to tougher standards and higher expectations. The website features a letter from Commissioner Robinson, timelines about Florida’s education system, a question and answer page, and video from a Florida public school parent.

DOE Parent Portal by Novachi

In partnership with Novachi, the department has launched the DOE Parent Portal. This public forum is designed for parents to ask questions and voice ideas at the state level. The portal features a parent blog, discussion board, and announcements page with more education resources coming soon. Parents may logon for access to this free user-friendly site.

DOE Just for Parents E-mail

This e-mail address is especially for Florida’s parents to get answers, voice opinions and share ideas with the department.


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