Make us your home page


Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Hillsborough school cleared of FCAT wrongdoing



Relax, 5th graders at James Elementary School: No one thinks you cheated on the FCAT.

Not that there was ever a rush to judgment. Since the news broke that James was getting an "I" on its report card because of a higher-than-average number of erasure marks on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, Hillsborough officials have steadfastly defended the kids.

Still, the erasures caused the state to flag the school while the district investigated.

Here's what they found: Teachers were encouraging kids not to get hung up on any overly difficult reading passage. Mark it for later, they told the students, suggesting that they move on to the easier questions so they did not run out of time.

Erasures happened when students guessed at the hard questions, then revised their answers later.

The state has yet to calculate a grade, so the website still shows an "I," for incomplete. 

But click on the attachment below for the letter that clears the school.

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 5:11pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours