WUFT News

Schools Prepare to Bid Farewell to the FCAT

By on January 27th, 2014

This spring may mark the last time students in Florida will have to take the statewide standardized Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test, commonly known as the FCAT. Future testing plans are still undetermined, which is causing some concern about which standards students should be learning.

Next year was supposed to mark the start of Partnership for the Assessment of College and Careers (PARCC) testing, but plans have changed because officials waited too long to pitch the new testing program to the Florida legislature, officials said.

Jackie Johnson, Alachua County Public Schools spokeswoman, said preparing for the FCAT this year is a little awkward.

The school board has already spent millions of dollars on textbooks and training to implement Common Core, the new set of state standards that was supposed to help students prepare for the PARCC test.

“This is kind of a weird year where kids are taking the FCAT, but they’ve also had a few years of Common Core,” Johnson said.

Columbia County School District Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Kitty McElhaney, said her county has been teaching a blend of both standards.

While there is cause for some concern on preparing the students for the test this year, McElhaney said she isn’t concerned that the new curriculum in some textbooks will hinder student’s chances on the FCAT.

“Textbooks are a tool that we use,” McElhaney said. “They don’t dictate what we teach. It’s actually the standards that dictate what we teach and that is what our teachers are working on. “

Linda Johns, director of curriculum and accountability for the Union County School District, said textbooks have not been switched over to the Common Core in her county.

Johns said that no matter what tests the state decides to use, Union County’s main focus this year is the FCAT.

All three school board officials said they’re working hard to prepare students for the upcoming test.

“We don’t really work on agonizing and concerning ourselves on what the assessments are going to be for the next year,” Johns said. “We’re just doing our best to prepare our students to do well on assessments for this year.”


This entry was posted in Education and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Education

DSC_0319

Scott Plans To Reduce Standardized Testing Statewide

An executive action to be issued by Governor Scott would reduce the number of tests Florida students are required to take. Subsequent legislation would eliminate progress-monitoring requirements, make certain exams optional and reassess how to evaluate teachers in public schools.


Marion County Teacher Speaks Out Against FSA Test

Ocala elementary school teacher Jeanelle Wellhoner apologized Sunday in an open letter in the Ocala Star-Banner. She said her students would fail due to the teaching styles advocated by Common Core.


infographic

High School Students Choosing High-Level Courses Over Electives

High school students like Taylor Christian choose to enroll in higher-level classes over elective courses to attract future college admission officers. This change in enrollment has resulted in fewer elective class periods for students to choose from.


Sue Legg, the chair of the Florida Project on School Choice for the League of Women

Voters of Alachua County, attends the Florida statewide education team caucus in 

Tallahassee. Legg operates the LWV education blog where she provides readers 

with resources regarding pertinent legislation.

Scott’s Education Budget Raises Concerns Over For-Profit Charter Schools

Gov. Rick Scott’s 2015-2016 “Keep Florida Working” budget has Alachua County public school educators voicing concerns over the distribution of funds allotted to for-profit charter schools. Under his budget, charter schools receive about $125,000 more per school than their public school counterparts.


[FILE] A file photograph showing an American Flag and empty student desks inside an Atlanta, Georgia school.

Florida Students Unable To Opt Out Of Standardized Testing

Excessive standardized tests have driven parents and school board members across the state to speak out. Opposition groups are pressuring legislators to change the testing policies.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments