Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Why is Florida's Board of Education against kids?

From the Miami Herald

by Laura Isensee

With a unanimous vote Monday, the State Board of Education approved a tougher scoring system for the FCAT, the state’s standardized reading and math exam.The change is meant to raise the academic standards for Florida students. Last year, state officials rolled out the FCAT 2.0, a new version of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

A new scoring system is needed for the new test, state officials have said.However, many students are expected to score lower under the newly approved grading system, which determines the “cut scores” or the scores that determine failing and passing grades. State officials estimate:

• The percent of third-graders who pass the reading test will fall to 52 percent from 67 percent;

• The percent of third-graders who pass the math exam will drop to 58 percent from 78 percent;

• Fewer students in grades 3 through 7 will pass the reading exam; and

• The passing rate on the math exam will fall across the board in grades 3 through 8.

The board’s vice chairman, Roberto Martinez, said in an email that the policy decision is “solidly grounded” on extensive work by educators and with input from key stakeholder groups. “I support the new cut scores because they aim high, but in a realistic manner designed to prepare our students to be ready to live and work in a competitive world,” Martinez said.

Board member John Padget said Florida’s high school graduate will have to compete in both the national and international arenas throughout their lifetimes, and Florida’s FCAT must be properly linked to international standards.“Aspiring to be a leader among the states, we are moving our standards closer to the leading states such as Massachusetts,” Padget said.

He noted the new common core standards will be ready for 2014-15 school year. “Today’s decision will help Florida’s students bridge the gap and be ready for those higher standards,” he added.

Some fear the new scoring system — combined with other changes to state academic standards — will be too much, too fast.Last week, Miami-Dade schools chief Alberto Carvalho warned the School Board that the tougher standards could have unintended consequences, since drops in school and student performance and graduation rates could send a poor message to students, families and the business community.

“While we support a new standard, I’m concerned about the confusion that will be created in communities,” Carvalho said last Wednesday at the School Board meeting.

Martinez said he supports and respects Carvalho, but believes that Florida residents, including the business community, will “understand over time the importance of the changes to the standards and assessments.”

Read more here:


  1. Since our country is so mobile,it is time for all of the United States to be on one system instead of the state by state system. Instead of FCAT, we need one test for all 50 states. Instead of Sunshine State Standards, we need United States Standards. We need one start and age times for school in this country instead of different times ages by state.We need one national report card instead of all of these different county report cards. We need the same text books throughout the country so children can go from state to state and read have the same text. We need the same national curriculum throughout this country instead of different curriculums in each state. We need same national budget throughout this country so that every child has equal education.

    I am sick to death of scum politicians in Florida who know nothing about education screwing up our children.

  2. Maybe because only one in four high school graduate is ready for college or maybe because they read with so little understanding they can't fillout a job application without help, just saying!

  3. I agree with you but thats why we need to slow things down and make what we have rigorus and meaningful before upping the ante...