Saturday, October 23, 2010

September 30-FCAT

In Florida, our state assessment is called the FCAT. It's HUGE here. So much so that it really makes kids sick to take it. The kids have to pass it in their 10th grade year to graduate. They can take it 3 times a year after that if they don't pass it. Many students have been retained because of their FCAT scores if they don't show "grade level proficiency." When we plan classes, instruction and we even talk about kids we generally refer to them as a "level 3" or "level 1" based on how they scored on their FCAT. We have started to look through the data to figure out where our students didn't succeed well. The unfortunate thing is this test is taken in March and it's now October. We have a long way to go, but we also have more data we have to get to really get a good idea. I decided I wanted to do some FCAT Chats with the students to figure out how they really did on the test last year to know whether or not the scores are true to the student. Our school grades are contingent upon these scores as well. No other factor goes into school grades other than these tests. At one point during the past year the lawmakers were trying to pass a law that made the teacher's salary and pay contingent upon these test scores and yearly progress on the test as well.

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