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Many Flunking the FCAT but Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson Proposes Harder Test

11:59 PM, Dec 8, 2011   |    comments
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The FCAT is getting national attention after a school board member in Orange County failed the standardized test.

"That should tell you a lot. Something's wrong with the test, or something's wrong with him. Which one is it?" asked Raines PTA President Vivian Jenkins.

The school board member in Orange County failing the test only validated how Jenkins said she's long felt about the FCAT.

"If he can't pass it, what makes you think these students can pass it?" she said.

An outspoken critic of the test, Jenkins thinks the state should abandon it all together.

"You can have a student making straight As, but if they don't pass this test, they may not even graduate. How fair is that?" she said.

Education advocates who have spoken out against the test agree.

If you ask Save Duval Schools Executive Director Colleen Wood, the FCAT hurts more than it helps.

"It also brings into question when we tell children they're failures because they fail one test. We have to ask ourselves is that the right thing to do, and is it accurate?" said Wood.

In an effort to make the testing more accurate, State School Board Commissioner Gerard Robinson has announced plans to make the test harder this year.

Robinson argued that Florida High School graduates need to be college-ready, and suggested that a more rigorous test would prepare them.

"While these recommended scores raise standards, I am confident that Florida's children will meet them, just as they have before," said Robinson.

But with 40% of kids scoring in the low range on the 2010 test in Duval County, Wood doesn't agree.

"One high stakes test does not determine my student's success. It doesn't determine the success or effectiveness of our teachers, and it surely doesn't decide it for an entire school," said Wood.

The state school board is set to vote on the proposed changes to the FCAT on Dec. 19.












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