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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

FCAT is "worthless" to children, Palm Beach board chairman says



The Palm Beach School Board was first in Florida to join to surging movement against over-reliance on standardized testing to judge students, teachers, schools and districts.

Board chairman Frank Barbieri writes in a piece for the Palm Beach Post that it's not testing that the board opposes, but the FCAT system that strays from his notion of a sensible accountability program. He writes, in part:

"Ironically, this all-powerful FCAT is worthless to the child. Neither the student nor the teacher sees the results to determine where they need to improve. We spend millions on this test and all its trappings, materials, software, hardware, instruction to personnel, additional security staff, and new computers. We’ve lost sight of the children and their needs. We depleted the life force of creativity out of children. For some, a nurturing school is their only hope at a solid future. We’re systematically destroying that by irrationally centering our schools and curriculum around testing."

Read Barbieri's entire commentary here. At the end, he calls for development of a solution to the problem that the system has become. What ideas do you have to maintain accountability for Florida's more than 2 million students and their teachers, keeping it fair and equitably applied statewide while also offering the flexibility that so many people are calling for? 

[Last modified: Thursday, June 28, 2012 6:34am]


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