Florida superintendents discuss tests other than the FCAT
This morning’s conference call between Florida Department of Education officials and superintendents was a reminder that the state really is moving away from the FCAT as the end-all, be-all.
The big topic: The roll-out schedule for end-of-course exams, which you can see in this document that DOE sent to superintendents yesterday. Algebra I and geometry end-of-course exams are being field tested this year, and the plan is for the biology end-of-course exam to be field tested next year, followed by the end-of-course exam for U.S. History the year after that. “Now obviously associated with all of these is a budget that will have to get funded annually in order to be able to do this,” Assistant Deputy Commissioner Kris Ellington told the superintendents.
It’s also DOE’s plan to use the math end-of-course exams instead of the math FCAT in the appropriate grades. But that will require legislative changes. Ellington said the department is talking with lawmakers to craft language to do just that.
We haven’t seen a bill yet, but we’ve heard from lawmakers who say they want this to happen next year.
A lot of questions about end-of-course exams remain, and the superintendents fired off a few. How will learning gains be determined? How will the results factor into school grades? What if a student passes the course but not the test? Or vice versa?
No decisions on any of that yet, but there’s still time. The algebra I and geometry end-of-course exams are scheduled to be fully in place in 2011-12.