Using FCAT scores among other means of measurement, The Florida Department of Education will grade local school late this month.
When choosing a community to reside in, the first consideration families with children use is school system ratings. Not uncommon, a high-rated school district is where most people want to live.
But due to the controversial 2012 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FACT) results, some school districts on the First Coast have already been warned to expect fewer schools earning an A and more not even making the passing grade.
The reason being is that the state passed tougher guidelines for FCAT writing standards this year. But after the preliminary results for reading and writing showed only about one third of students passed the exam, the State Board of Education decided to lower the passing grade from a 4.0 to a 3.0 last month.
“Lowering the passing grade only covers up the problem,” eight-grader dad Max Hamilton is one of the Duval County parents who shared his views on the scoring downfall. Some attributed the poor results to the lack of FCATs thorough field-testing before the exam is given to the students.
Other parents, instead, blame results to the students’ current study habits spending hours in social media exchange, music downloading, You Tube searches and deals booking. “I see my thirteen-year-old daughter checking emails on her Iphone and every now and then, raising her eyes to watch her favorite TV show. All at once with her homework in process,” said Fletcher mom Andrea Ramos.
“Their level of attention is short in their too busy FaceBook-iPhone world. They think in terms of texts and in short sentences,” said eighth-grader mom Cecilia Lefebvre.
Duval County Teachers Union President Terrie Brady calls the results unconscionable. “We have the same teachers, same students, same dedicated parents, the same curriculum we’ve been working on to promote learning gains all year,” she said. “Our schools are not failures in this state and certainly not in this district,” she said.
Educators in the area are anxious over the final results to be released by end of month. They can now lose their certificate based on students’ test scores. Schools that score grades D or F can be given to private companies to reopen as charter schools.
Education commissioner Gerard Robinson told the state board of education that an outside audit of testing procedure is already under way to find out what went wrong. The report would be finalized next month. ))
FCAT RESULTS AFTER LOWERING PASSING GRADE
Duval showed that 79% of fourth-graders, 78% of eighth-graders and 87% of tenth-graders met the proficiency threshold in the writing test. For reading scores (48% of ninth graders and 45% of tenth graders) stayed below the 52% and 50% state standard. St. Johns County’s 9th and 10th graders led the state in reading and 4th, 8th and 10th graders ranked 5ht in writing.