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Sunday, June 17, 2012

The FCAT has a tough spring. Hopefully its last.

From Scathing Purple Musings, by Bob Sykes

Consider this timeline of events.

January 20: Florida Governor Rick Scott directs Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson to rank Florida’s school districts by FCAT scores

February 2: Texas’ long-time, pro-accountabilty education commissioner Robert Scott says testing has become a “perversion” of its intent and triggered 360 Texas districts to join a National Resolution on High Stakes Testing

February 23: Robinson defends changes to Florida’s school grade system.

April 24: National Resolution on High Stakes Testing unveiled.

April 24: Robinson tells Tampa Bay Times that National Resolution on High Stake Testing won’t go far in Florida

April 25: Palm Beach School Board votes to endorse National Resolution on High Stakes Testing

April 28: Florida superintendents from Orange and Seminole counties say the state’s test-based accountability system will fail.

May 8: St. Lucie School Board votes to endorse National Resolution on High Stakes Testing

May 14: The Florida Department of Education releases state FCAT writing scores. Additional ”rigor” via a new scoring rubric resulted in 80 percent failures. Some members of the Board of Education attempted to release the same statement to spin results until they were outed by Tampa Bay Times reporter Jeff Solochek.

May 15: An embarrassed Board of Education voted unanimously to change FCAT Writing scoring template which flip-flopped results.

May 16: FAIR TEST calls for audit of FCAT and Pearson

May 18: A coalition of 10 central Florida school boards released its “White Paper” titled “The Ramifications of Standardized Testing on Our Public Schools”

May 22: Orlando Sentinel education reporter, Leslie Postal, wrote that Jeb Bush’s organization would help “with FCAT messaging.” At the same time, News Service of Florida reporter Brandon Larrabee’s story detailed how Governor Rick Scott’s office and some hand-picked allies would create a “Full-Court Press” to combat bad FCAT data.

May 22: Key parent driven public school advocacy group, Save Duval Schools questions validity and honesty of the FDOE’s FCAT data

May 30: Broward County school board passed resolution against high-stakes testing.

May 30: Two polls show Floridians want to end reliance on high-stakes testing.

June 5: Media reports indicated that Alachua, Flagler and Hernando county school boards would be considering their own resolutions.

June 12: Okaloosa county adopts resolution against high-stakes testing. Pinellas does the same. The number of districts who have passed resolutions is reported to be 12 by the Orlando Sentinel.

June 13: 30 directors of the Florida School Board Association (FSBA) vote to endorse a resolution against high-stakes testing.

June 14: Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson admonished the FSBA body for considering the resolution and told them “it is their obligation to implement the laws approved by the Florida Legislature; to implement the regulations approved by the state board.” Motivated by Robinson’s arrogance, the FSBA (representing 67 districts) passed a resolution against high stakes testing.

June 15: Robinson doubles down and releases press release calling out state school boards. Saying they could have thier opinions but had to do what the state told them to do.

June 16: Florida PTA endorses National Resolution on High Stakes Testing.
Stay tuned.

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