Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Six in Pasco violate phone rule, get FCATs tossed

LAND O'LAKES — The rules could not have been more clear: Students were not allowed to have cell phones or other electronic devices that can record or take pictures with them inside the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test exam room.

The penalty could not have been more severe: Anyone violating the new rule would have his or her test results invalidated.

Yet as always seems to be the case with kids, some just couldn't resist. Six Pasco students at three schools had their FCATs thrown out during the two weeks of testing.

The most egregious rule breaking came at Pasco High, where test proctors discovered a girl sending text messages to friends while the test booklet sat on her desk. Teachers and administrators checked the messages — they were reportedly "innocuous" — and they tracked the recipients, as well — none were in testing at the time.

Still, "they were not even supposed to have (phones) in their possession," district assessment coordinator Madeline Barbery noted. So the girl's test was tossed.

Two students at Land O'Lakes High and three at Centennial Middle also had their FCATs invalidated because they had phones with them. Barbery said those students were not using the devices.

"I am in a way disappointed that, despite all our best efforts to forewarn the students and their parents," these violations still occurred, she said. "It's not a matter of being unaware or uninformed. … It's discouraging to see they would still take that chance."

The state barred students from carrying cell phones and the like in the exam room after a Volusia County high school student was caught last year taking pictures of the test and posting them on MySpace.

Twenty-seven Hernando County students were penalized this year for having phones during the FCAT.

Barbery said Pasco's administration of the FCAT otherwise went off smoothly with few other invalidations, for things such as working ahead on the test. No teachers were found helping students this year, unlike last year, employee relations director Terry Rhum said.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at solochek@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.

Six in Pasco violate phone rule, get FCATs tossed 03/20/08 [Last modified: Friday, March 21, 2008 11:38am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.
[SCOTT KEELER  |  TIMES]

  2. Ed Sheeran coming to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Let it never be said Ed Sheeran hasn't given the people of Tampa what they want.

  3. Editorial: Once more, homeowners are let down by state housing agency

    Editorials

    Once upon a time, the federal government created a program called the Hardest Hit Fund. Its goal was admirable, and its mission important. The fund was designed to aid Americans in danger of losing their houses after the Great Recession had wreaked havoc on the economy. Unfortunately, the folks in Washington erred in …

    The Hardest Hit Fund was designed to aid Americans in danger of losing their houses after the Great Recession. Unfortunately, the folks in Washington trusted Florida to get that money into the hands of people who needed it most.
  4. Editorial: Lessons from Hurricane Irma

    Editorials

    Two weeks later, Florida is still recovering from Hurricane Irma. But with federal, state and local officials still on the ground, and the experience fresh, now is a good time to start assessing what went right, what went wrong and how Florida can better prepare for the next one.

    Evacuation

    More than 6 million of Florida’s 10 million residential and business customers lost power, including about 80 percent of Duke Energy’s customers in Pinellas.
  5. Back in bargaining, Hillsborough school district and its teachers are $50 million apart

    Blogs

    It started off nice and friendly. Gretchen Saunders, chief business officer for the Hillsborough County Public Schools, passed candy around the room. Negotiators for the district and the teachers' union commended one another for their good work during Hurricane Irma. The union thanked the district for paying everybody a …

    This a breakdown of what the school district says the teachers' union requests would cost if granted. The union rejects many of these numbers.