Teachers union: Don't forget FCAT maker
It takes two to tango. And when it comes to the FCAT, maybe it takes two to get it wrong? Marshall Ogletree, the chief lobbyist for the Florida Education Association, the state teachers union, made a noteworthy point during Friday's advisory group meeting in Orlando: What about Harcourt? "I think we have to look at Harcourt's accountability," he said. "Where are they in this mix?"
Harcourt Assessment, of course, is the company getting millions of dollars in taxpayer money to develop the FCAT. DOE officials say the process for "equating" the test (that's where DOE thinks the foul-up occurred) is overseen by DOE and Harcourt. But while DOE acknowledges a mistake, Harcourt has not conceded anything and says it's still reviewing the matter. "We stand by the validity and reliability of the test," said Harcourt spokesman (and former Jeb Bush press secretary) Russell Schweiss, after DOE announced the scoring flub on May 23.