Putting Education Reform To The Test

Superintendents Begin Public Relations Work Over Expected Drop In FCAT Scores

Monroe County schools superintendent Jesus Jara.

Monroe County schools superintendent Jesus Jara passes along a timely reminder as Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test season approaches: Lower FCAT scores do not mean students are learning less.

The state has raised minimum standards on the FCAT, which means more students are likely to fail to achieve a passing score and require remediation. School grades are likely to fall.

But that’s because the state is raising standards, Jara writes, and schools and students will adjust:

There will be an increase in the number of students failing to pass FCAT 2.0, requiring an increase in the number of students having to take remediation classes for the portions of FCAT 2.0 that they failed.

The secondary impact: The student’s ability to take elective courses (i.e., band, art, drama, music, etc.) will likely be limited due to the addition of remediation courses What does this mean for our schools and school district?

School grades will fall significantly. Increased costs to school districts due to an increase in the number of remediation classes. Potential elimination of elective courses in order to accommodate an increase in remediation courses.

What is truly important to remember is that lower FCAT test scores do not necessarily indicate that a student learned less this year than in prior years. It does indicate the student has more work to do to master the new curriculum well enough to successfully progress to the new higher levels of accountability as required by the state.

Hat tip to The Gradebook for passing along the link.


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