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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