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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Even the FCAT is getting cut



Fcat No, not completely. And not yet substantially.

But the budget cuts gripping Florida are so deep that even former Gov. Jeb Bush's accountability programs continue to get nicked. Among the latest casualties: the summer retake tests for high school seniors who must pass the 10th grade FCAT to graduate.

It's not immediately clear how many students take the summer test, how many pass it or what the project cost savings are. Students will still have five opportunities to take the test before graduation.

Also getting axed: the FCAT Parent Network, which allowed parents to see their kids' FCAT scores online (they'll still get scores on paper). This recent memo from the Department of Education to district assessment coordinators lists other new cuts.

All this comes on top of decisions made earlier this year to eliminate the multiple-choice portion of the FCAT writing test, and to ditch the FCAT norm-referenced test, which allowed the state to compare student performance in Florida with other states.

Are more FCAT cuts ahead? Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith listed other possibilities back in March. And just last week, state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink became the latest pol to float the possibility of cutting reward money for high performing schools.

Ron Matus, state education reporter


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:03am]


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