Really, Rick? So FCAT is OVERemphasized Now?

Here’s what Governor Rick Scott says in a new ad:

“I’ve learned a lot as governor – you can study all the numbers you want, but listening to parents and teachers is still the best education,” Scott says in the ad.

“I’ve listened to the frustrations parents and teachers have with the FCAT,” Scott says. “Next year we begin improving our testing system. No more teaching to the test.”

Even Florida republicans aren’t buying this lame “me, too” angle. News Service of Florida reporter David Royce has this:

Even fellow Republicans acknowledge that Scott may be a bit late to the idea, but some say that’s OK. Sen. Nancy Detert, the Republican who sponsored the bill phasing out theFCAT for a new “end-of-course” exam, said even if the idea has already left the station, it’s better  for Scott to board late than not at all, because he can help sell the new testing scheme.

“We’re happy to have him on the train,” said Detert, of Venice. “He’s done an excellent job of listening and not just hearing what he wants to hear, he’s heard the complaints about FCAT,” Detert said. “And I think now everybody is on the same train.”

Scott must know he and his party are in deep muck-muck with their high-stakes testing regime. Tossing an ad out there that can be hit out of the ballpark by one of the 3rd grade kids who get held back because of FCAT is desperation on steroids. Those poor kids already know that FCAT won’t be around and will  replaced by another monster under the bed at night called PARC. This one’s sooooo much better say Pearson’s sales force of slick hucksters. Just….. just not Florida Sunshine State Standards this time. Common Core Standards, you see.

Rick, having you  flip-flop on FCAT is like Obama doing the same on Obamacare.  After your SB736 made the state’s high-stakes tests even more high-stakes just last year?  And YOU ranking school districts based on FCAT scores just seven months ago? And what about that FCAT Writes debacle that happened on your watch this spring? NOW you tell us, Rick?

Looks like tossing Gerard Robinson over the side didn’t slow the runaway train. . Scott’s hoping that Floridians just don’t get it with “no more teaching to the test.” ANY high-stakes test forces curriculum to “teach the test.” Scott has already lost credibility on education and trying to  fool Floridians with a bait-and-switch will only make him look worse. I wonder if he is having second thoughts about having Michelle Rhee and top Jeb Bush wonk Patricia Levesque on his education transition team yet.



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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3 Responses to Really, Rick? So FCAT is OVERemphasized Now?

  1. Sandra says:

    21 page memo went out to Superintendents today…looks like the Governor didn’t get the memo.

  2. Pingback: Is Rick Scott Too Late to the Party? « Diane Ravitch's blog

  3. Diane says:

    I wonder if this is the answer – smoke screen!
    Florida Times-Journal 8-20-2012
    By Khristopher J. Brooks

    Florida gives peek at new test that will replace FCAT in 2014-15
    The PARCC will replace the reading and math portion of the FCAT.


    Starting in the 2014-15 school year, the state will swap the reading and math portions of the FCAT with a new test that will bring Florida in line with other states.

    Florida is moving to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, test because it will better help educators align test results with the benchmarks set from what is known as the Common Core State Standards. Common Core is the collection of academic skills that educators across the nation have decided are vital for a student to master in order to land jobs or enroll in higher education.

    Florida adopted the Common Core two years ago. The final step is to phase out the reading and math portions of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and roll out PARCC.

    Vince Verges of Florida’s Department of Education has been the point man for implementing PARCC.

    Verges said Friday that 8,000 teachers across Florida have participated in workshops on how to implement PARCC curriculum into lesson plans.

    The FCAT isn’t going away completely. Many Florida school districts will likely continue using FCAT to test students in science.

    The state education department plans to conduct a small-sized launch of PARCC during spring 2013. After the state examines that launch and makes needed tweaks, the education department will perform a larger test launch in spring 2014.

    There are many specifics that the state education department still needs to iron out before the test’s official launch, Verges said, such as how the results from PARCC scores will determine a school’s letter grade. It’s a preliminary thought, but Verges said the 11th-grade English Language Arts and Literacy exam might be the cornerstone test the state uses to determine if a student is college-ready.

    Always changing – every year something different – no wonder these kids do not know which end is up or their teachers. This is what happens when you have legislators dipping their voting fingers into pots they have no idea what is inside.


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