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Gradebook

Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Orange County School Board member: "Something is seriously wrong" with FCAT

6

December

Longtime Orange County School Board member Robert Roach took the FCAT exam. Then he made his results public, through two columns in the Washington Post's Answer Sheet. (The first kept him anonymous, while the second identified him.)

“I won’t beat around the bush. The math section had 60 questions. I knew the answers to none of them, but managed to guess ten out of the 60 correctly. On the reading test, I got 62%. In our system, that’s a ‘D,’ and would get me a mandatory assignment to a double block of reading instruction.

“It seems to me something is seriously wrong. I have a bachelor of science degree, two masters degrees, and 15 credit hours toward a doctorate. I help oversee an organization with 22,000 employees and a $3 billion operations and capital budget, and am able to make sense of complex data related to those responsibilities....

“It might be argued that I’ve been out of school too long, that if I’d actuall y been in the 10th grade prior to taking the test, the material would have been fresh. But doesn’t that miss the point? A test that can determine a student’s future life chances should surely relate in some practical way to the requirements of life. I can’t see how that could possibly be true of the test I took.”

Check out the columns. Do they jibe with what you know about the test? Have you ever taken the FCAT? (Past test samples are available on the FLDOE website for your review.) Do you think if more decision makers sat for the test, the debate over the FCAT, cut scores, graduation requirements and so one would change? Let's hear your thoughts.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 2:32pm]

    

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