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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Elia on FCAT: "We remain concerned"

29

July

Hillsborough schools superintendent MaryEllen Elia met today with Florida education commissioner Eric J. Smith and Gov. Charlie Crist amid a continuing audit of possible FCAT scoring problems that Elia and other superintendents raised earlier in July.

Before the meeting, K-12 chancellor Frances Haithcock put out a memo saying the superintendents' worries appeared unfounded, though the final results are not yet in.

Not so fast, Elia said in statement her office just released: "We remain concerned, and many of the questions raised by the districts remain unanswered. The commissioner reassured us that he had not reached any conclusions and that the external review is ongoing."

Read on for her full comments.

"We met today with the Commissioner to discuss the state’s external review of FCAT scores. 

As you know, after I and four other school superintendents sent a letter to Commissioner Smith expressing our concerns about unusual decreases in test scores, those concerns were echoed by dozens of superintendents across the state. For the past several weeks we have worked closely with DOE in hopes of better understanding the problem and finding a solution. Today’s meeting was a continuation of that effort.

We remain concerned, and many of the questions raised by the districts remain unanswered. The Commissioner reassured us that he had not reached any conclusions and that the external review is ongoing. 

We urged the Commissioner to focus on the very important questions the districts have raised, and we appreciate the Governor’s support.  A thorough and independent review is absolutely necessary to bolster public confidence in the validity of the FCAT scores. In Hillsborough County we embrace school accountability and we will do everything we can to ensure that we have data that is fair and accurate. For school accountability to work, it is essential that students, parents, teachers, and the public have confidence in the fairness and accuracy of the test results.

We will continue to work with the state to resolve this issue.”

[Last modified: Thursday, July 29, 2010 4:54pm]

    

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