Ninth Graders Fail End of Course Exams

Tallahassee, FL -- June 1, 2012 --

Forget Disney World, or even the beach. Many Florida ninth graders will spend their summer in school, because they flunked Algebra.

On a conference call Friday morning, the Florida Department of Education told reporters more than 58-thousand ninth graders failed the end-of-course algebra exam. That’s more than half of the students that took the test.

Later the Commissioner of Education, Gerard Robinson, told reporters the good news is there’s time for a do-over.

“We actually have several programs for students who did not pass, to take courses in remediation,” said Robinson.

This is the first time ever ninth graders have had to pass the test in order to graduate. It’s part of the state’s efforts to set higher standards and to phase out the FCAT.

By 2015, students will also have to pass tests in Geometry and Biology to get their degree.

“So we will actually have some of the best educated students in the United States,” said Robinson.

Leon High School students scored better than most, with 8 out of 10 passing campus wide. Still there will be more summer school students, stretching budgets thin.

“We are probably only have to remediate 40 or 50 kids, where other schools throughout the state, we’re talking hundreds and that’s going to be a major problem. You can’t continue to cut, cut, cut and ask more, more, more,” said Leon County Principal Rocky Hanna.

Students who opt out of summer school algebra, can take the course online or wait till next year. But waiting means they risk falling even further behind.

Commissioner Robinson says the test will better prepare students for the PARCC, or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers test. The test will replace the FCAT beginning in the 2014- 2015 School year.


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  • by algebra teacher on Jun 4, 2012 at 05:42 AM
    I am an algebra teacher. The problem is not the parents or the teacher. The biggest problem is the lazy, disrespectful students that expect everything to be given to them. The student's do not try at all. I have 150 students a day and a majority of them do not even come to school with a pencil. They expect me to supply them one every day! do the math 150 students times 180 days = how many pencils? and on my salary?! When are we gonig to give responsibility back to the students. They know this test means a lot. The teachers review. Do you think the students care or pay attention during the review. Teachers give up on giving homework because its a waste of time when 20 out of all 150 students do it. There are many things wrong with our education system but we dealt with it when we were students. If you want to make it in life you have to work hard and try. Our students do not know what working hard is because everyone has given them anything they ask for. There is a 9th grader in an algebra class that still, after working with her all year, does not know the difference between even and odd numbers! The state curves the scores for the end of course exam, and the students know it. They asked me multiple times how much the curve was going to be. They said ti doesn't matter how we do the state will curve the test anyways. The FCAT scores are always curved so what is the point of the test anyways? How many student's really failed?
    • reply
      by jc on Jun 7, 2012 at 11:47 AM in reply to algebra teacher
      The algebra teacher is 100% correct.READ THE FIRST SENTENCE AGAIN & AGAIN--IT SAYS IT ALL!!! But I must add to it. There's a lot to be said about the old cliche--"YOU ACT THE WAY YOU DRESS"! It's time to MANDATE & ENFORCE A STRICT DRESS CODE--for teachers too that show cleavage-& ANY OTHER SKIN. EXPECT PROPER BEHAVIOR & RESPECT W/CONSEQUENCES & YOU WILL GET IT. DISCIPLINE & BASIC TEACHING IS THE ONLY SOLUTION. IT'S UN-IMAGINABLE THAT AMERICAN CHILDREN CAN'T READ & WRITE CONSIDERING THE PROGRESS MADE IN THIS COUNTRY--ARE YOU KIDDING?? BUT THEY EXCEL IN TEXTING-EMAILS ETC ETC. AS THEY SAY TODAY "SOME HEADS SHOULD ROLL" INCLUDING THE COMMISSIONER OF EDUCATION THAT SAYS HE'S PROUD OF THE ACHIEVEMENT OF STUDENTS--WHAT?? HE SHOULD HAVE BLASTED THEM & SHAMED THEM. AND SHAME ON HIM! STRANGE THAT THE ASIAN KIDS ARE THE ONES WINNING CONTESTS--AMERICA IS HELL BENT ON COPYING OTHER NATIONS--HOW 'BOUT LOOKING @ THEIR EDUCATION SYSTEM. I THINK YOU WILL FIND INVOLVED PARENTS!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 2, 2012 at 05:47 AM
    This is not a failure of the school system. This is a failure on the part of lazy parents.
    • reply
      by truth on Jun 2, 2012 at 10:44 AM in reply to
      you are defintly not a parent!!! but just wait till you are!!!!
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 2, 2012 at 03:34 PM in reply to truth
        But this isn't a failure of the school system. It is a failure of the student. Somewhere the students failed to take the steps necessary to study and pass. The lazy parent comment may be justified foe some, but I think it is lazy students that aren't pushed by their parents. These students need to learn to apply themselves now, and maybe this is the wake-up call they need.
  • by BAMBAM on Jun 2, 2012 at 05:14 AM
    The problem is not the students if the majority failed. The way we teach math and other subjects has to change. We show them what we want them to learn once then we test them on it, can you remember the last time you were shown something once and can pass a test on it. What about the kids in the special classes that never take the upper level math and science classes.
  • by Algebra only a start on Jun 1, 2012 at 07:20 PM
    So you think the basic math and logic of algebra is useless? Too hard? Sure, skip it and skip college too! We have too many people who cannot do basic math who still think college is for them. That costs us all money as they try to redo high school in college. Most of those students can do it if they know that a life scrubbing toilets is the alternative!
  • by Nascar Dad Location: Tallahassee on Jun 1, 2012 at 06:23 PM
    This is what happens when students have to prove they can do the work, rather than be passed for simply trying. The good news here is, nearly half of our ninth graders really know algebra. Those are the kids we now look to to go into science and engineering and other high tech industries. Not passing, or being average or even subpar in algebra isn't failure, it just shows those kids need to look into other professions where their strengths benefit them. Math skills aren't the only thing, some kids have advanced social skills, reading skills, artistic skills, etc. Regardless of what you think it should be, the education process proves to everyone where your skills are, and provides guidance as to where you can and excel.
    • reply
      by Drinky Crow on Jun 2, 2012 at 03:13 PM in reply to Nascar Dad
      Best post so far. Thanks for stating it so succinctly.
    • reply
      by randal on Jun 2, 2012 at 05:48 PM in reply to Nascar Dad
      I agree. The foolishness of the governing bodies of our state and country oustound me. Make it harder to get a diploma, Yeah, that will keep them in school. 5 of my students friends have dropped out of school and they are all typical middle class teens. What does that tell you? If you can't pass. Just don't go.
    • reply
      by anon on Jun 2, 2012 at 06:59 PM in reply to Nascar Dad
      exactly, the kids who fail should be on a different track towards their future careers.
  • by Jane on Jun 1, 2012 at 06:18 PM
    You're wrong Mr. Robinson. We won't have the best educated students. We will have the most over crowded schools due to failure.
  • by Homer Location: Tallahassee W on Jun 1, 2012 at 05:57 PM
    More than half of Florida ninth graders failed !!!! What kind of teachers are out there? What kind of parents are out there? I kind of feel sorry for all those kids; they're in a sink or swim situation. People: learning is a collaboration between teacher, student and parent. No wonder we are in a sad sorry state: Education begins at home, and is enhanced through school.
  • by USF 83 Location: on the road again on Jun 1, 2012 at 05:47 PM
    58,000, why has this happened, or is this a transition year to when schools outside of the control of the Florida Department of Education will be built by the private sector and do not take the test . Who needs algebra, you certainly don't need it to make a bed as a maid or serve a burger. Great legacy this Governor is leaving.
    • reply
      by DD on Jun 1, 2012 at 07:21 PM in reply to USF 83
      You don't need it for the majority of jobs out there.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 1, 2012 at 11:16 PM in reply to USF 83
      We're tired of third world schools.
  • by Dee on Jun 1, 2012 at 04:56 PM
    Isn't it nice that our state is in the national news once again?
    • reply
      by College Grad on Jun 2, 2012 at 03:04 AM in reply to Dee
      Yes and always being compared to the worse case scenario for education, Alabama or Mississippi. Why should anyone be surprised, since Bush was governor, the emphasis has been to destroy the education department,and provide low pay to teachers that attracts the least capable, restrict mill rates that result in the lack of adequate funds for public schools, especially neighborhood schools,this has left many school without those programs to assist struggling student. Our elected representatives don’t demonstrate that they care. It’s always that the future will be better, while the past never lives up to that which was planned.
  • by Marcus on Jun 1, 2012 at 04:50 PM
    Looks like we might have to hire some more 9th grade teachers for next year due to the overload of students.
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