Pinellas superintendent shrugs at tougher FCAT
When we asked late last night, Pinellas Superintendent John Stewart didn't directly say whether he favored higher cut scores for the 10th grade reading FCAT, which would make passing the test harder. But he suggested there are more important things to worry about.
Stewart's position is interesting, given the sustained gnashing of teeth from many quarters, including other superintendents who want a lower cut score. Here is Stewart's statement:
Far more important than where cut scores are set is the urgency of motivating students to challenge themselves to excel, both on the FCAT and in their daily work in the classroom.
We spend so much time worrying about how to deal with that one test when we should be focusing on encouraging students to take the most challenging courses possible, work at their fullest capacity, and achieve at their highest level. If we all spent more time concentrating on that, we wouldn’t have to be concerned about the results of changing FCAT cut scores a few degrees one way or the other.