WUFT News

Florida Department of Education Extends Input Deadline for New Exam

By on September 4th, 2014

The Florida Department of Education has extended the deadline for input on its new standardized exam that will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) by one week.

The department announced in June that it was seeking input from educators and other interested parties to ensure the test guidelines would accurately reflect the newly adopted standards. The deadline, which was originally set for Sept. 5, has been extended to Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. to allow additional time for comments.

The Florida Standards will replace the FCAT this year, but the guidelines for mathematics and English language arts are still under revision.

The guidelines, documents outlining the content and format of test questions by grade-level and subject, clarify how Florida’s new education standards will be tested for the exam’s writers and reviewers.

Jackie Johnson, a spokesperson for Alachua County Public Schools, said these documents could serve as another resource for teachers, but she advised against “teaching the test.”

Jackie Johnson

Jackie Johnson

“If you focus on only the test questions and the format of the test, then you end up teaching to the test,” she said. “And that’s not very meaningful learning.”

The Florida Standards, which were adopted after a unanimous Board of Education vote in February, are a set of educational guidelines for what students are expected to know by the time they graduate high school, said Kevin Christian, a school board public relations and communications officer for Marion County.

The new standards will require students to use analytical skills to create an answer rather than choosing a multiple-choice option, which was common in FCAT test.

“It forces students to think more when they’re answering questions,” said Christian. “(It’s) a more open-ended concept to standardized testing than in the past when students bubbled in an answer.”

Any public input will be evaluated and utilized to refine the existing specifications. Updated versions of these documents will be released at a later date, according to a memorandum released by the Florida Department of Education.

The Florida Standards Assessments website, which the launched in June 2014, provides information about Florida's newest assessment tools for grades K-12. The Department of Education is currently collecting public input about test item specifications -- documents that define the content and format by grade-level and subject for test writers and reviewers.

WUFT News

The Florida Standards Assessments website, which the launched in June 2014, provides information about Florida's newest assessment tools for grades K-12. The Department of Education is currently collecting public input about test item specifications -- documents that define the content and format by grade-level and subject for test writers and reviewers.

The feedback forms for mathematics and English language arts, as well as writing rubrics, ask reviewers to rate statements ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The statements vary by subject and include space for additional comments. The forms also define key terms that are used in the specification documents.

This is an opportunity for parents, teachers and community members to become involved, Christian said.

“A lot of times people may complain about things that they don’t know a lot about, and this is an opportunity not only for them to educate themselves but to become involved in the process,” he said.

Test item specifications and feedback forms can be found online at fsassessments.org.


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

More Stories in Education

Students at Norton Elementary School wait in line as they're served dinner for the first time at school. Norton Elementary now serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner; Norton Elementary Serves It All

In addition to breakfast and lunch, Norton Elementary School now serves dinner to students enrolled in its after-school program. Dinner is currently scheduled to be served at 2 p.m.


Yes For Marion County Schools table at the Journey Into Reading event at Central Florida State College. The theme of the event was "seasons" and we were designated as "winter."

Amendment 4 Could Bring Back Marion County Teachers And School Programs

On Election Day, Marion County voters will vote on Amendment 4, which calls for the millage rate to increase. The extra money will go toward school programs and teacher salaries, potentially bringing back laid-off, first-year teachers.


Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.22.22 PM

New FCAT Replacement Test To Be Computer-Based

The new test set to replace the FCAT this March will be computer-based. Some educators are worried the test may be a disadvantage for students who are not used to working on a computer on a daily basis.


Dunnellon Elementary School's Maria Gonzalez helps her fourth grade students with classwork. She received the Excellence in Education Award earlier this month from Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Local Hispanic Teachers Receive Excellence In Education Award

Maria Gonzalez of Dunnellon Elementary School and Grisell Santiago of P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School received the Excellence in Education Award earlier this month. The annual award was sponsored by Volunteer Florida, the Florida Department of Education and the Executive Office of the Governor as a part of Hispanic Heritage Month.


Students from Idylwild Elementary School launch a water rocket at Flavet Field. Fourth and fifth grade students from Idylwild Elementary School visited the University of Florida on Oct. 30 to learn about engineering and other STEM-related studies.

The University of Florida College of Engineering Reaches Out to Elementary Students

University of Florida engineering students hosted a day of science activities on campus for fourth- and fifth-grade students from Idylwild Elementary School on October 30.


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments