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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Are proposed FCAT cut scores too high?



In case you missed it, Florida education commissioner Gerard Robinson sent out a 10 p.m. press release Wednesday announcing that he would recommend FCAT cut scores higher than those supported by educators and others who reviewed the topic for a year. 

He's scheduled a 10 a.m. conference call with reporters to further explain his position, which looks as much political as anything else.

Meanwhile, the state's superintendents continue their full court press to call for the levels they recommended, this time with Flagler superintendent Janet Valentine's op-ed to the readers of the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Read on for a key portion of her position, which is shared by many other district leaders:

"If the state board approves the recommendations from the standard-setting committee, which included 300 educators, and the initial Reactor Panel, comprising superintendents and other stakeholder groups across the state, the scores would be aligned to better project the success of students over time.

"Groups appointed by the state Department of Education made recommendations to the State Board of Education about FCAT levels. The state board will make a decision later this month after studying the recommendations and hearing from another panel recently established by the board.

"Why all the talk? As the state board reviews this information, there is pressure from some to set the cut scores for each level even higher. Educators and others are concerned that cut scores may be raised to a level unobtainable for a large number of students.

"What does that mean? More students may be retained in third grade, more students will be mandated to take remedial courses instead of courses that are more rigorous and engaging, and fewer students will meet the requirements to graduate from high school."

Any guesses which way the board might go? Are you sending them any advice? What are you saying?

[Last modified: Thursday, December 8, 2011 8:43am]


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