Setting Standards for FCAT Writing Section

[UPDATE] July 27, 2012- 6pm

A panel of education, business, and community leaders recommended raising the standards for the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

State officials reached out to the diverse group to get their input.

The Florida Department of Education is in the process of establishing the cut score--or the passing level--of FCAT 2.0 Writing.
The board invited a diverse group of leaders, including a student, to provide input in this process. After a day of overviews ... members are making a recommendation to up the standards.

A group of educators, business and community leaders and a student from across Florida are recommending that the passing score for FCAT 2.0 Writing be raised.

Says Robert Botkin, an FSU student: "The standards should be raised because we're just having more kids come into college and it's shown that they have less competent skills in writing."
The Florida Department of Education asked the group to provide input during the state's standard-setting process.
The 19-member panel recommended the school grade writing performance level be set at 3.5...Currently, it's at a 3.

Robert Botkin says he was in the last generation to have to take science FCAT in high school, and he applauds the recommendation for Writing.

Botkin says: "They actually downgraded the writing and said that they're not going to look at punctuation, grammar and spelling. I feel like that's the most important thing in writing, or else you're just looking at basically the concepts they put in their paragraphs, which anyone can basically master."

Says Taylor Edmonds, an FSU student: "Getting outside input is a good thing. I don't really believe in just everybody cohering together and coming up with stuff. They need outside input from people."

The panel's recommendation will now be reviewed by department staff for consideration by the Commissioner of Education. Then it will be placed on the State Board of Education's agenda later this Fall.
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July 27, 2012

The Florida Department of Education has started its process for setting the standards for the writing portion of the FCAT 2.0 test. State administrators are getting the help of community leaders and educators across the state.

The Florida Department of Education invited educators, a student, and business and community leaders from across the state to participate in the process that established the FCAT 2.0 Writing performance level standard for school grades.

The diverse group spent Tuesday stepping through an overview of test design and scoring; anchor sets for grades 4, 8, and 10; and impact data.

Members of the 19-member panel then provided a recommendation that the school grade writing performance level be set at 3.5.

The current performance level, or cut score, is 3. The cut score means the passing score the the test.

The plan represented a divers cross-section of stakeholders and reflected geographic distribution from the Panhandle to South Florida. It is all a part of D.O.E.'s accountability standard-setting process.

The panel's recommendation will now be summarized by department staff for consideration by Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson before being placed on the State Board of Education agenda later this fall.


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