Who will review the FCAT?
Brevard County superintendent Richard DePatri attended the FCAT advisory panel by telephone. His colleagues took advantage by naming him chairman of a subcommittee charged with finding the best independent experts to evaluate the annual exam, particularly the 2006 third-grade scoring problem that led to the panel's formation. He agreed - with a simple "whatever" - to lead a small group that will quickly begin dealing with the technical issues behind the FCAT review. To read the proposed scope of work, click here. To see the proposed criteria for selecting an independent reviewer, click here. For a list of possible reviewers, click here.
With the subcommittee handling the technical aspects, panelists said, the advisory group can pay more attention to policy matters. And boy, did they have a lot of them. The concerns included everything from the role of science scores to faith in the overall accountability system. Hillsborough superintendent MaryEllen Elia and others mentioned that the group ought to weigh in on the No Child Left Behind reauthorization, too. "We might have to start meeting weekly," interim commissioner Jeanine Blomberg said to laughter.
But Blomberg, who started the process and has won accolades for her openness, won't be with the system despite its open-ended nature. She said she will not apply for the commissioner's job permanently, though she pledged a smooth transition to whoever follows her in the fall.