The Florida FCAT

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What is This Test All About?

The FCAT, Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, is a test where students take practice tests every year but take the real test in 3rd, 5th, 8th, and 10th grades. 

If a student fails a practice test they have to take classes revolved around FCAT for a whole year. If they don’t pass their tests in 5th grade they can’t go to 6th if they don’t pass in 8th the can’t go to 9th, and if they don’t pass in 10th they can take it 2 more times in 11th and 12th but if they don’t pass they don’t graduate. Students can have 4.0 GPA, not do well on this test, and not pass or even not graduate! 

English and Math teachers can’t teach a regular curriculum they have to teach FCAT preparation most of the year. This sets our kids education back! If they can’t get a well rounded education what do we send them to school for? To show they can pass an FCAT test? They aren’t learning Shakespeare, how to spell or even the correct way to speak, but we can show they pass FCAT. 

On top of this educators are so focused on the FCAT the dress code and student problems aren’t being addressed. One 10th grader, who wishes to remain anonymous, told me she skipped school and several teachers saw her walk off campus. She didn’t get called into the dean’s office until a week later. While in the student handbook it says that leavening campus with out permission is an automatic suspension of three days unexcused for the first offence. While she was in the deans office he was busy with FCAT paperwork and said don’t do it again I’m too busy to deal with it. 

What is this teaching our kids? They can get away with things when administrators are to busy? The FCAT needs to be loosened up give it in 2 grades, not 3, and don’t make kids take practice teats every year. These practice tests take a week out of the school year. Don’t make the kids graduation or grade advancement depend on one test it should depend on their GPA and grades, not the FCAT. 

You can get some one with a 4.0 GPA but isn’t good with tests and get so nervous with everything that depends on this test, and end up failing it. Is this fair? Is this the kind of education we want our kids to have? 

On top of all of this schools get graded on how well they prepared the students for the FCAT test. Teachers and administrators get raises and the schools get money if they do well. If they do bad pays get cut and money taken away. Don’t you think schools that aren’t doing good would get money to help them improve? What is Florida thinking? Or are they not? It looks like they are just trying to prove they are doing something while putting more money in their pockets at the same time.


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