This is a troubling story from Jeff Solocheck of the Tampa Bay Times:
WESLEY CHAPEL — Alan Sourk thought his son had finally passed his exit-level high school reading test.
The Wiregrass Ranch High School junior scored a 20 on the ACT reading test in December. That was two points above the mark listed on state documents as an acceptable replacement score for the FCAT graduation requirement.
He excitedly returned to school in January, asking his guidance counselor to finally let him out of the remedial reading course that had kept him out of elective classes. And that’s when he learned, as Sourk put it, that “it’s possible the passing score of 20 might not be passing anymore.”
The state had made the FCAT harder during the past year. But Department of Education officials had not calculated the “concordant” scores for the ACT and SAT, which students can take in place of the FCAT to satisfy that graduation requirement.
The new cutoff scores for the ACT and SAT won’t be available until the fall..
So instead of scratching the test off their graduation to-do list, thousands of juniors across Florida had to recommit themselves to another semester of remediation and another stab at the FCAT., self
Let’s see how Tony Bennett handles this one. We’ll we get some weasely platitudes about accountability to protect the interests of Pearson who sees ACT and SAT as a threat. Or will he act as quickly as Solochek reports that former commissioner Eric Smith did in 2009. The episode illustrates how the FLDOE has become a slow-moving, self-absorbed, cold-storage locker. Hopefully Bennett will see the need to take action, especially when it may conflict with his agenda to protect the state’s multiple accountability systems.