Key to FCAT Success for Charter Schools USA : Teach the Test


The much ballyhooed release early this month by the Florida DOE touting charter school superiority got a follow-up in the Naples Daily News. Reporter Heather Carney asked the principal of  Bonita Springs Charter about their status as an A school.

Bonita Springs Charter Principal Deborah Tracy said the school takes extra steps to ensure every student is successful.

Three times a year, the school assesses all students in an FCAT-like environment — a teacher proctors the test and the desks are moved apart to prevent cheating. Those performing below grade level are mentored after school and receive additional schooling on Saturdays.

The school tracks each student’s progress and targets lessons to help those students improve.

“We don’t just emphasize the FCAT the night before,” Tracy said.

Teachers participate in collaborative sessions twice a month to share best practices and to focus on FCAT instruction. Teachers also meet regularly with parents to discuss a student’s progress.

“Students didn’t feel anxious or frustrated this year,” Tracy said. “They knew what the test would be like and how they would perform.”

Small wonder such wide-spread opposition to high-stakes testing like FCAT is becoming a tsunami is states like Texas. Florida legislators freely throw around the word “rigor,” to describe curriculum while fawning over the superiority of charter schools. Is FCAT prep their vision of rigor?

Bonita Springs Charter, one of almost 40 in Florida’s Charter Schools USA  network, knows its bread is buttered with FCAT data. Their A grade is what Charter School USA CEO Jonathan Hage uses to as justification to open more schools around the country. Its not hard to teach the test. Small wonder that so many charter schools want Teach For America corp  members just out of college who are indoctrinated in just that.

 

 

 

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About Bob Sikes

A long time ago and a planet far, far away I was an athletic trainer for the New York Mets. I was blessed to be part of the now legendary 1986 World Series Championship. My late father told me that I'd one day be thankful I had that degree in teaching from Florida State University. He was right and I became twice blesses to become a teacher in the late 1990's. After dabbling with writing about the Mets and then politics, I settled on education.
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4 Responses to Key to FCAT Success for Charter Schools USA : Teach the Test

  1. This seems to be the way of the education system in general in the Sunshine State. NCLB and FCAT are both failed attempts at bettering the educational systems.

  2. starrimom says:

    It’s spreading across the country

  3. Pingback: Charter Schools USA Lands Third Multi-Million Dollar Loan Since 2010 | FPEP Blog

  4. Tracy says:

    If this is the kind of school system we want, all we need to do is look at Korea and China to see where it ends….yes, good test scores BUT year round school 6 days a week….mothers having to quit work so that they can get study materials ready for when tbeir children come home from school and tutoring….parents paying for yet more tutoring after school 6 days a week…highest youth suicide rates in the world….some schools resorting to IVs hanging to the classroom ceilings filled with amino acid fluids to help with endurance to study longer

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