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FCAT Phase Out

February 17th, 2010 by flanews

A plan to phase out the FCAT exam and replace it with end of the year tests is gaining ground in Tallahassee. The FCAT is catching flack from parents, students and teachers concerned too much emphasis is being put on passing the test and not on learning. As Whitney Ray tells us, changes could come as soon as next year.

From the first day of class, high school students in Florida begin preparing for the FCAT. The standardized test determines who graduates and school rankings, but that could soon change.

Any steps we take to eliminating the FCAT is a step in the right direction, said Representative Bill Heller.

For years Democrats have been calling for an end to the FCAT, saying it puts too much emphasis on testing and takes away from learning.

FSU Freshman Taylor Rink remembers the pressure she faced from teachers.

They really pushed it, said Taylor.

FCAT testing dates are also causing concern.

Former Governor Jeb Bush, a big FCAT advocate, used to be fond of saying, well test a years worth of knowledge in a years worth of time. The only problem, The FCAT is over in March.

Florida School Boards Association President Wayne Blanton says the test creates lethargic students by years end.

Students sort of give up then. They say, especially seniors, well you know schools over the FCATs over, what you really have to look at is having a year end exam so you dont have any wasted time out there, said Blanton.

If the legislation passes, next year math would be taken off the FCAT exam, with the other subjects being phased out over the next four years.

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