Governor Rick Scott has launched a new campaign video where he seems to agree with critics who say the state is testing too much.
The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, is used to determine everything from school funding to whether teachers get to keep their jobs. But this year a number of school districts have passed resolutions either completely opposing the FCAT or reducing its influence. And Governor Scott says he’s heard the complaints loud and clear.
“Parents and teachers are telling us that they have frustration with FCAT. They want to make sure we have a testing program—because we need accountability—but one that actually allows our students to be ready for either college or their career.”
Parts of the FCAT are being phased out in favor of end-course exams and others that will be shared with other states. The changes were already underway before Scott made the video. Republicans have largely supported the FCAT while Democrats have mostly opposed it.
This year's FCAT results were heavily criticized after the state upped the requirements. Only about 25 percent of students passed the writing portion of the test, leading state officials to grade it on a curve. Results for reading also came in lower than expected. The Florida Department of Education also had to revise grades for about 200 schools due to errors in its grading formula.