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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FCAT and the clock



Spring_ahead With the FCAT exam rapidly approaching, it dawned on one Gradebook reader that we all spring ahead over the weekend.

She asked us to find out: "Why is it that the Florida Department of Education scheduled FCAT testing the same week we go to daylight saving time? The kids are going to lose an hour of sleep the night before the first day of FCAT."

In a nutshell, the issue is the calendar more than the clock.

"We have to give districts enough time to teach students the material they need to know," DOE spokesman Tom Butler told the Gradebook. "We also need to have enough time to produce results before the end of school."

Hence the timing. But that doesn't mean the department ignored the issue of sleepy kids.

"Because we recognized that the testing period falls around daylight saving time, we gave the districts a choice. They could actually administer the week before," Butler said. "The option was available to them."

Districts that took advantage of that were: Bradford, Clay, Collier, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Holmes, Jefferson, Madison, Okeechobee, Seminole, Wakulla and Walton.

He also pointed out that the clocks change Sunday morning, and the first day of testing is Tuesday, providing two days for students to get accustomed to the change in time.

(Image from ABC News)


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:16am]


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