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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FCAT scores debate continues this afternoon



Many of Florida's school superintendents plan to fill the State Board of Education's workshop this afternoon to show their solidarity for a proposal to change FCAT passing scores. They back the measure, which many of them vetted in a lengthy review process, saying the new scores to get levels 1-5 would maintain high standards without being unrealistic.

In the past, superintendents and testing experts have said that the passing score for grade 3 was too low, while it was too high by grade 10.

State Board of Education members, meanwhile, have suggested that they aren't interested in lowering any scores. At least one said to expect to see this afternoon an alternate proposal to the one being floated by the Department of Education staff and review panels.

Pasco County superintendent Heather Fiorentino, also a former lawmaker, told the Gradebook that the issue of inconsistent cut scores had been discussed even while she was in the Legislature nearly a decade ago. She argued the time is right to change them so they are "fair and extremely vigorous" at the same time.

She noted that within the proposal is also a little noted recommendation to increase the FCAT "passing" level from 2 to 3. That would come on top of changing the score needed to earn a level 3.

 "This is the most important issue we are dealing with," Fiorentino said, as she drove to Jacksonville. "You are talking about students who are going to pass or fail, whether they are going to be able to graduate."

Stay tuned.

[Last modified: Monday, November 14, 2011 11:22am]


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