TALLAHASSEE – Statement from FEA President Andy Ford on the release of this year’s FCAT writing scores:
“The disastrous test scores on the FCAT writing exam highlight the flawed system that political leaders and the education bureaucracy in Tallahassee have embraced. FEA has always opposed and questioned the overreliance on standardized testing. When this approach was first adopted more than a dozen years ago when Jeb Bush was first elected governor, we pointed out that there was no independent research that his approach was positive for children or for our public schools. There is still no credible research that says that this testing madness helps educate our children well.
“The education leadership in this state – governors, legislative leaders, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education -- have consistently ignored teachers, education professionals, administrators and research experts and followed this reckless testing course. It hasn’t helped students, it hasn’t helped teachers, parents are frustrated and it costs millions of taxpayer dollars.
“The dramatic drop in writing scores shows that the system is a failure. Children have not suddenly grown less knowledgeable. The problem is in the state-mandated measurement.
“It’s long past time that Florida’s political leadership and its education hierarchy listen to independent researchers, school leadership at the local level and the expertise of teachers and other education professionals in our classrooms and our schools to come up with a way to more fairly and accurately measure the progress of our students and our public school system.”
The Florida Education Association is the state’s largest association of professional employees, with more than 140,000 members. FEA represents pre K-12 teachers, higher education faculty, educational support professionals, students at our colleges and universities preparing to become teachers and retired education employees.