FCAT: Closed to the Public

A ruling handed down by the first district court of appeals is sparking controversy in Tallahassee. That decision says that the FCAT is not public record and therefore parents aren't allowed to see them.

State education officials say the ruling upholds the Department of Education's 20-year policy on test confidentiality, but some parents say it's not a matter of privacy. It's a test that brings big bucks to schools and success to students, but one thing it's not, public record, and that angers parents.

Thursday, the first district court of appeals threw out a lower court decision that would have allowed parents to see copies of the FCAT. For Leon County school board member Fred Varn, the decision brings mixed emotions.

State education officials say if the FCAT were made public, it would have to be changed every year, costing millions of dollars. Sims says if the state wants to anti-up the stakes, then they need to provide parents the tools to play the game.

In a statement released by the Gov. Bush, he says as a result of this ruling, Florida will continue to accurately measure student's progress in fundamental education subjects, rather than their ability to memorize material.

Kids can go online and take sample test to prepare for the real thing.


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