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FCAT Results Carry Less Power, Educators Say its About Time

April 30th, 2008 by flanews

The way your childs high school is graded could soon change. Lawmakers passed a bill that would lessen the FCATs importance and shift some of the focus back on classroom performance. As Whitney Ray tells us, principles say its about time.

With pressure from parents and a different Governor at the helm, lawmakers took the reigns and unanimously approved a new grading system for high schools. For the past 10 years, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or the FCAT, has been the sole decider of a schools grade. Principal Rocky Hanna said the focus will return to the classroom.

I think this could certainly relieve some of the pressure that were given that our school grade was based on one test, said Hanna.

While half of a high schools grade will still come from the FCAT, the other half will come from graduation rates, college admission tests, and classroom performance. Lawmakers say its a fairer system.

We feel like that is going to give us a much more balanced indication as to how well the school is doing, said House Representative Anitere Flores.

The bill also pushes the test date back. If signed into law, the FCAT would be held in April. Teachers Union Spokesman Mark Pudlow says pushing the date back and lessening the FCATs power would give teachers a little more time to focus on other things.

It still carries an awful lot of weight, it just doesnt carry all the weight, said Pudlow.

Still most of the weight will be carried by the students who will still have to perform well on the test, and maybe even better in the classroom. The bills headed back to the Senate for a vote on changes added by the House.

Posted in Education, Legislature, State News | 2 Comments »

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