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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Florida Dems continue to propose dumping the FCAT



At least they're consistent. In the face of Republican pressure to put even more emphasis on school testing, Florida's Democrats again have proposed a shift away from annual high-stakes exams.

A group of Miami Democrats has filed legislation that would end FCAT testing in high schools.

Rep. Daphne Campbell wants to discontinue the FCAT at all high school grade levels, and instead reintroduce the HSCT as a graduation requirement, starting in 2012-13. (HB 71)  Rep. Dwight Bullard, an educator, meanwhile would replace FCAT scores with results from the PSAT or the ACT Explore & Plan as a graduation requirement beginning in 2013-14. (HB 69)

Over on the Senate side, Bullard's mom -- longtime FCAT critic Sen. Larcenia Bullard -- has filed companion legislation to HB 69. (SB 258

It's prudent to note here that Democrats have unsuccessfully attempted this type of legislation in the past, and that's when they actually had enough members to make a difference. This year, the GOP has a veto-proof majority and a stated goal of increasing school accountability through testing, among other efforts.

That's not to say the FCAT will remain forever in Florida's high schools, though. Don't forget that the Legislature has set a plan in place to roll out content-specific end-of-course exams as is economically and academically feasible. That's just not what the Democrats are asking for, or as fast.

[Last modified: Friday, December 17, 2010 9:15am]


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