Has the FCAT become passe?
Even some Republicans are starting to wonder whether the annual high-stakes exam achieves what so many people want - an accountability measure that shows whether students have met the learning goals of their grade level. Gov. Charlie Crist has talked about changing the accountability model, but he's been vague. Word is, the new vogue that's gaining some traction is that kids should take end-of-course exams designed to see whether they met the standard for each class, rather than a cumulative test like the FCAT. "The question isn't, is the FCAT bad. It's, have we gone to a point where we should modify how we take these tests, these standardized tests," explains Rep. John Legg, R-New Port Richey, a charter school leader who sits on the House Schools and Learning Council. "One of the common criticisms is ... people are teaching down to the bottom. The FCAT only measures the minimal level. Instead of measuring the minimal level, why don't we measure the maximum level?"