State education chief gets an earful about FCAT and testing scores

Florida's education chief said he wanted to have a spirited discussion about the state's testing system -- and he got it Wednesday night. Parents, teachers and community members gave Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson an earful about the FCAT, new end-of-course exams for high school students and last week's dramatic decline in student writing scores. "I'm sick of the FCAT for many reasons and I urge you to get rid of it," said Sarah Robinson, mother of an eighth-grader in Pinellas County. She said art, music, physical education and field trips had all been "sacrificed on the altar of the FCAT." Cynthia Shellabarger, mother of a fourth-grader in Hillsborough County, said teachers weren't given enough information about changes to the scoring of the state's writing test. "They've been teaching these students to write about apples and then they're graded on oranges," she said. The commissioner heard from about 60 people at his first "Conversations with the Commissioner" event at Hillsborough Community College. The public forum was billed as an opportunity for parents, teachers and community members to discuss education. But state education officials said they expected testing to be the focus because of the rapid roll-out this year of more rigorous assessments and last week's drop in writing scores. The education commissioner also is scheduled to do more public forums, with the second on Friday in Boca Raton. Several events also are in the works for next week in Jacksonville. On Wednesday, Robinson, who was flanked by Kathleen Shanahan, chairwoman of the state Board of Education, repeated that it's important for the state to measure student learning. "The FCAT is important, (end-of-course) exams are important," he said.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/state-education-chief-gets-an-earful-about-fcat-and-testing-scores/1231725

 

As FCAT's importance grows, the test changes

http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20120523/ARTICLE/120529816/2416/NEWS?Title=As-FCAT-s-importance-grows-the-test-changes

Solution to FCAT writing dilemma falls to teachers

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/schools/solution-to-fcat-writing-dilemma-falls-to-teachers-2372532.html

 

Manatee teachers focus on future, not past, to improve FCAT writing skills

http://www.bradenton.com/2012/05/24/4051079/manatee-teachers-focus-on-future.html


When FCAT going gets tough, Florida gets out the erasers

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/columnists/fl-fcat-mayocol-b052412br-20120523,0,105673.column

 

Frustration mounts over FCAT changes

http://yoursun.net/sunnews/fortmeade/3852545-505/sunnewspapersfrustrationmountsoverfcatchanges.html.csp

 

Second-class students in our schools?

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/23/2814638/second-class-students-in-our-schools.html

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/content/florida-education-commissioner-robinson-responds-concerns-over-testing-english-language-lear

 

Headline on Florida DOE news release: "DEPARTMENT OF EDUATION TO RELEASE THIRD GRADE READING AND MATHMETICS RESULTS." (just sayin’)

http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook/

 

Teachers union, district still butting heads over cuts (Holly Hummell-Gorman and Leon Fowler quoted)
http://www.keysnet.com/2012/05/23/449281/teachers-union-district-still.html


Highlands union questions teacher pay (Steve Picklesimer quoted)
http://www2.highlandstoday.com/news/highlands-news/2012/may/24/lanewso1-union-questions-teacher-pay-ar-407201/

 

Bear causes lock down of Marion school (and Chris Altobello delivers the punch line)
http://jcallahan.blogs.ocala.com/10344/bears-cattle-and-gators-oh-my/

 

ACLU: 11 districts get 'F' on enrollment rules

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FL_SCHOOLS_SOCIAL_SECURITY_NUMBERS_FLOL-?SITE=FLTAM&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2012-05-23-19-53-07

http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-23/news/os-aclu-social-security-numbers-20120523_1_social-security-numbers-seminole-schools-osceola-county-school-districts

 

ACLU says single-gender classes could be illegal

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/schools/aclu-tells-florida-education-department-that-single-gender-2371857.html

 

California school board votes to lay off 1,500 teachers

http://www.theledger.com/article/20120523/APN/1205230865

 

Push continues to get UF to tap into reserves to avoid cutbacks (John Biro quoted)
http://www.gainesville.com/article/20120523/ARTICLES/120529817/1002/news01?Title=Push-continues-to-get-UF-to-tap-into-reserves-to-avoid-cutbacks-

 

12th university campus over budget

http://htpolitics.com/2012/05/23/12th-university-campus-over-budget/

http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/college/board-hears-litany-of-hurdles-floridas-newest-university-faces/1231693

http://www.theledger.com/article/20120524/POLITICS/120529667

http://saintpetersblog.com/2012/05/florida-polytech-panel-meets-amid-uncertainty/

http://www2.tbo.com/news/politics/2012/may/23/universities-board-begins-daunting-task-creating-n-ar-407075/

 

Details make Florida Polytech look even worse

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/article1231654.ece

 

State projects $1.1 billion cushion in general fund

http://www.thefloridacurrent.com/article.cfm?id=27819325

 

FAMU program to funnel funds not a secret to Senate president, budget chief

http://jacksonville.com/news/florida/2012-05-24/story/famu-program-funnel-funds-not-secret-senate-president-budget-chief

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