FCAT Testing to Begin Next Week

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

Marianna, FL -- April 13, 2012 --

Teachers and school officials throughout Florida were on edge Friday as the day of the FCAT loomed closer.

"You really want to make sure you're prepared," said Riverside Elementary teacher MaryEllen Prophet.

Prophet is among most third grade teacher probably feeling the most pressure because if her students don't score high enough, they don't move on.

"It is tough for them to go through a lot of emotional and social things that they go through at their home and then have to come here and perform at 110% all the time in a one time snapshot. That's not fair," said Prophet.

Teachers arguably have more at risk. Test scores now count for half of their evaluations.

"I'd like for some of the people making those decisions to come sit in this classroom and see what our babies go through," said Prophet.

More Jackson County schools scored A's last year than ever before, but because of this year's changes, the outlook in Jackson County and across Florida is not as optimistic.

"Statewide we're looking for school grades to decline," said Jackson County Early Childhood Elementary Education Director Cheryl McDaniel.

Teachers like Prophet said if test results are lower, neither the students nor the teacher are to blame.

"That says a lot about how they're changing the scale, and it's not fair to change the rules in the middle of the game," said Prophet.

The FCAT starts Monday and with makeup testing will last through April 26th. Parents of third graders should not worry too much if their child doesn't pass this time because they have two more chances with similar tests to pass the grade.

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  • by anonymous Location: florida on Apr 19, 2012 at 06:21 PM
    Just because a child does poorly on FCAT does mean they were not taught properly. It is more of a reflection on their lack of effort, lack of interest, lack of attention during class, and lack of doing required homework for practice. Until there are consequences for noncompliance during the school year, I don't think my teaching evaluation should be based so largely on FCAT.
  • by truth on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM
    the fcat is given every year because jeb bush is getting paid everytime this test is given!!
  • by Anonymous on Apr 15, 2012 at 12:18 PM
    All of us took stardardized tests in school. Private schools, public schools, throughout the country and world. The people in Florida complain too much.
    • reply
      by florida girl on Apr 15, 2012 at 12:53 PM in reply to
      go away troll
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Apr 16, 2012 at 06:21 AM in reply to florida girl
        florida girl - thanks for helping prove my point.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Apr 16, 2012 at 01:02 PM in reply to
      The FCAT is much more than just a standardized test. The test evaluates not just the student, but the teachers the schools, and the school system. The test itself is probably OK, but by using this to evaluate teachers and schools, the teachers are being forced to teach the fcat instead of teaching basic skills.
  • by Tony Location: Tallahassee on Apr 14, 2012 at 10:46 PM
    Personally i think the FCAT systen only encourages teachers to help their students cheat to keep their jobs and make the school look good.
    • reply
      by Valerie on Apr 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM in reply to Tony
      @ Tony--you are disgusting and obviously aren't a teacher. Many teachers are very dedicated to their profession and work their butts off to teach a child. Probably your child. They don't have an 8 hour day like most people if they are dedicated. Teaching students to cheat is not an option. You have just shown your ignorance.
  • by Robert Location: Jacksonville on Apr 14, 2012 at 05:53 PM
    Another issue about the Science FCAT is that the FLDOE guidelines for test questions (Test Item Specifications) have huge scientific errors, and even allow test questions to use scientifically correct answers as "wrong" answers, as long as the Content Advisory Committee does not think a fifth grader would know that they are correct. Read more about it at: http://thehappyscientist.com/blog/problems-floridas-science-fcat-test
  • by Oracle Location: Delphi on Apr 14, 2012 at 02:09 PM
    To point out one more effect of the FCAT that we should all consider: FCAT testing has stolen the character and personality of schools. No longer do we have kids running free at physical education or at recess. Instead they are locked into time pods where they endlessly practice taking the test and being tested so some dweeb Dr. in Tallahassee can sit around and analyze the progress of an EMH student in Palatka who once had anger issues with a first grade teacher who was determined to need counseling. The whole thing is absurd and takes the fun out of school all together. The doctors who work in that big glass monstrosity in Tallahassee have stolen the souls of the schools. One irony of the whole thing is that the FCAT consisists of so much red tape, so much security, and such draconian arcane rules, it is beginning to consume itself. The grading is breaking down, the test is becoming too expensive, and the teachers have a hate for it that is being supressed by the suits in Tallahassee. The most explicit boondoggle in the history of public education, easily.
  • by Frustrated about FCAT on Apr 14, 2012 at 08:11 AM
    We spent years working with our daughter who had ADHD to not be on meds. In addition she is blue color blind so boxes on tests are hard to see depending on shade. This combination was toxic for her for all these types of tests but since she was not bad enough for ESE she did not get afforded a chance to waive the FCAT for graduation. Honor student, taking even anatomy and physiology, best in class for english and honor roll all through high school but couldn't pass the FCAT. Since SAT and ACT are similar tests she had same result. After graduating two years ago she went to the doc to be issued meds so she could take the test to pass it and get her well deserved diploma. What the don't tell you is that without FCAT you cannot accept a scholarship, get a college loan or earn a grant. She had a full ride offer to a university but lost it, she is working full time to make money to start college this year finally for medical which she aced during high school. There is no panel or appeal for these students, agreed we need to scrap the FCAT as it is used right now. to heck with washington when did they have a clue anyway
  • by Florida Girl on Apr 14, 2012 at 07:31 AM
    Oracle, very true but it also makes both parties happy, for different reasons and that is scarey. In another mind set of generations of older people who can spell, read and do basics better than the current ones even with high FCAT scores the philosophy was that a well rounded person expanded the mind so that it could be stronger in ALL areas. Ever since we began to focus on BASICS only ie reading writing and arithmetic and cut out music, art, home economics, shop, even phys ed and more our childred have suffered..does no one else see that pattern? At one time everyone had to take one music class, one art class, business management, and more. And no one suffered from reading writing and math !
  • by Oracle Location: Delphi on Apr 14, 2012 at 06:49 AM
    The FCAT is the biggest fraud ever perpertrated on the citizens, teachers, and students in Florida's history. The FCAT's purpose is to spy on teachers and to create jobs for a lot of Doctors of Education who could not get jobs in other places. Over the years the FCAT has turned into a bureaucratic monster which eats up millions of education dollars, provides tons of flawed data, and accomplishes nothing. It's made a lot of liberals very happy, though, because through the FCAT they have more power.
  • by randy Location: tallahassee on Apr 14, 2012 at 06:38 AM
    what a joke this test has become, another fine example of the dumbing down of school children. to spend weeks before the test just focusing on this test is absurd, schools should spend their time teaching
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