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After FCAT scores plunge, state quickly lowers the passing grade
Miami Herald ^ | May 16, 2012 | Cara Fitzpatrick, Shelley Rossetter and Jeffrey S. Solochek

Posted on 05/16/2012 9:09:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

After conceding that poor communication with teachers could have contributed to the unprecedented plunge in Florida students’ writing scores this year, the state Board of Education voted Tuesday to lower the passing mark for the test.

Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson defended the decision against critics who said it was a quick fix for bad results on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT. He said changing the test’s passing score to a 3 from a 4 (out of 6) “corrected the process.”

“The results still stand,” he said.

Just 27 percent of fourth-graders statewide earned a 4 or better on the writing FCAT, a steep decline from last year’s 81 percent. Eighth- and 10th-graders showed similar drops.

The news sparked widespread concern and a dramatic response, with more than 800 parents, teachers and school officials dialing into an emergency conference call held Tuesday by the state board.

Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said after Tuesday’s decision, “The State Board of Education should be thanked for taking on this matter in such a direct, forthright manner.”

....Switching to a 3 puts scores on par with last year’s results. Final results for schools and districts could be released by the end of the week, state officials said.

Robinson acknowledged Tuesday that teachers were not adequately prepared for how strictly the tests were going to be graded this year, and said he “realized that overnight students didn’t just become bad writers.”

But Robinson also warned Tuesday that substantial declines were coming for scores on the state’s high-stakes reading and math tests.

...“I can tell you there’s going to be a big wake-up moment,” Robinson said.

Some state leaders expressed concern about the writing results......

(Excerpt) Read more at miamiherald.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: education; fcat; fl; florida; teaching; tenure

1 posted on 05/16/2012 9:09:37 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“Idiocracy” is becoming a documentary.


2 posted on 05/16/2012 9:10:48 AM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Just drop it down to 0 so everybody passes.


3 posted on 05/16/2012 9:10:49 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Lurker

"We're gonna take you back, to the year 1939 when Charlie Chaplin and his Nazi regime enslaved Europe and tried to take over the world ...But then an even greater force emerged, the "UN" and the "UN" un-nazied the world - forever."

4 posted on 05/16/2012 9:12:29 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

So that means you only need an AA degree now to be a brain surgeon? Just lower the standards..../sarc tag
FREEGARDS LEX


5 posted on 05/16/2012 9:13:16 AM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Robinson acknowledged Tuesday that teachers were not adequately prepared for how strictly the tests were going to be graded this year, and said he “realized that overnight students didn’t just become bad writers.”

Why weren’t the teachers prepared? How could they not be prepared?

Can there be other than right and wrong answers?

Do the students have the skills necessary to perform the work or not? Is there another possible outcome?

6 posted on 05/16/2012 9:16:29 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Hmmm, lowered the passing grades...NOTHING new here.
School districts in pits-poor counties have been doing this for eons. It PROBABLY has to do with state funding and such.

Sad, sad, sad. We aren't the only country in the world to do this, either. It's been a tough read to figure out just what "excellent" means, then, now AND in the future.

Just some thoughts.

7 posted on 05/16/2012 9:20:23 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: Pontiac

It’s a comprehensive assessment test.

A test that assesses, comprehensively, the education level that the students currently have.

“Cramming” is not required for an assessment.


8 posted on 05/16/2012 9:21:49 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: cloudmountain

The Chinese read articles like this and laugh their asses off at us.


9 posted on 05/16/2012 9:22:21 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Public education is an oxymoron and has become a complete joke.

Surprisingly,Education Commissioner gerard robinson is an 0bama/holder type.

10 posted on 05/16/2012 9:22:54 AM PDT by Post5203 (Newter 0bama...The real Axis of Evil...Washington, New York City and Hollywood.)
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To: JulieRNR21; kinganamort; katherineisgreat; floriduh voter; summer; Goldwater Girl; windchime; ...
I have two kids who are currently attending Florida public schools (Laurel-Nokomis and Garden Elementary, both in Venice). From my experience, this whole affair (the poor scores, the bureaucratic a$$-covering, and the frantic reaction of lowering the standards) doesn't surprise me for a second.

Both my kids get plenty of learning here at home as well and are fairly bright (one is Honor Society), but for kids who lack proper parenting and are left wholly to the 'attention' of the self-serving school administration... I feel sorry for them. They are left to the not-so-tender mercies of a political game for which they are simply pawns.

Florida Freeper


11 posted on 05/16/2012 9:27:11 AM PDT by Joe Brower (Sheep have three speeds: "graze", "stampede" and "cower".)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
“This major blunder by the Department of Education in changing the FCAT without adequate notice to school boards, teachers, parents and students....”
Texas moved from the old TAKS test last year to the STAAR test this year. Well in advance, the state made written discussion of the nature of the test and sample test questions available to schools so that there would be congruity between teaching and testing.
12 posted on 05/16/2012 9:27:34 AM PDT by Clara Lou
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To: dfwgator
The Chinese read articles like this and laugh their asses off at us.

I SINCERELY hope that you do NOT believe that the Chinese don't fudge THEIR grades, pass the wealthy brats, give breaks to bribing parents and are, in any and many ways, influenced by their commieculturebosses to SUCCEED, SUCCEED, SUCCEED.

The Chinese actually might be worse. FACE is ultra, super important to them, individually and collectively. They are one of the OLDER cultures of our planet. They have had THAT long to finesse and cultivate the cheat.

Chinese not cheat? BWWWAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

13 posted on 05/16/2012 9:27:50 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Same rwst, different asnwers.

The pooblic skool collective answer.

Fire’ em, then sell off the buildings.


14 posted on 05/16/2012 9:30:23 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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To: cloudmountain

Not saying they don’t cheat, but I don’t think they worry too much about their student’s “self esteem”.


15 posted on 05/16/2012 9:30:39 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Pontiac

“realized that overnight students didn’t just become bad writers.” “

Appallingly accurate.

The pooblic skool collective workers (teachers) and their overlords (administrators) have labored for generations to achieve such depths of FAIL.


16 posted on 05/16/2012 9:32:50 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is necessary to examine principles."...the public interest)
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To: Pontiac
It's not as simple as you might imagine. For the writing test, there are criteria to be met for each score a student could receive. (In Texas, the TAKS writing scores were 1, 2, 3, or 4, 4 being the highest.) Over the years, the state's requirements for "good writing" has changed. Spelling, capitalization, punctuation might be weighted differently, of they might not count at all. Is the writing on topic? Does the student elaborate? Is there and opening, a body, and a conclusion? And so on.
So, if the teacher focuses on what the state has been wanting for the last 3 years, but the state changes what it wants without informing teachers, then there's a problem.
17 posted on 05/16/2012 9:35:33 AM PDT by Clara Lou
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

The typical Florida school district is spending about $15,000 per year per pupil and at the end of the day is graduating a bunch of incompetent individuals.

Conservatives need to focus on winning School Board elections and get rid of the teacher unions and the entrenched bureaucracy.


18 posted on 05/16/2012 9:39:19 AM PDT by Presbyterian Reporter
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To: dfwgator
Not saying they don’t cheat, but I don’t think they worry too much about their student’s “self esteem”.

You are right. I don't think that they care an iota about their students' self-esteem. Boys are prized; girls are discarded. Self-esteem doesn't fit into the Chinese twin-deity of "god," that is: LUCK and MONEY.

The Chinese now have an entire generation of men who are not married. The Chinese have aborted girl babies so much for so long that there now exists a group of men, called "bare branches." There ARE NO women for these men. They aren't the males with enough money, brains, family clout or looks to attract any women.
The DOWN side of amniocentesis.

19 posted on 05/16/2012 9:40:13 AM PDT by cloudmountain
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To: dfwgator; Lurker

And they are doing it right here in our own back yard = N.Y. But now it’s something far worse than Nasism, it’s called Marxism, (that has always failed where tried) by the stepping stones of Socialism. It’s a wrong picture, it should show the criminal now “occupying” the W.H.!!!


20 posted on 05/16/2012 9:42:06 AM PDT by danamco (-)
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To: cloudmountain

How long has this policy been in effect, even “de facto” without being enforced?

They’re looking at a demographic collapse within a couple of generations.


21 posted on 05/16/2012 9:42:22 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: Pontiac

:: How could they not be prepared? ::

they were caught up teaching “American Social Issues” and “Human Sexual Activity” classes.


22 posted on 05/16/2012 9:47:57 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations - The acronym explains the science.)
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To: Cletus.D.Yokel
they were caught up teaching “American Social Issues” and “Human Sexual Activity” classes.

Oh, well that’s alright then.

The kids really need those "Life skills”.

Much more important than being able to read, right and do their sums.

23 posted on 05/16/2012 9:54:17 AM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Pontiac

Who needs math...I’m a statistician!


24 posted on 05/16/2012 9:57:10 AM PDT by Cletus.D.Yokel (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Alterations - The acronym explains the science.)
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To: cloudmountain; dfwgator

As the Chinese get older they get worse. When my husband was working towards his doctorate, he found dissertations that the Chinese had copied almost word for word or equation for equation, from Americans. They did not build on the work, nor did they add to the topic. He even found the work of a former professor of his that they had plagiarized.

If they believe they won’t be caught, the Chinese have no problem stealing other people’s work. Stealing other people’s doctoral work is a very serious offense in this country but in China, not so much. So they can keep their laughter to themselves.


25 posted on 05/16/2012 9:58:54 AM PDT by Waryone
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I wonder if these new results have anything to do with all of the teacher cheating scandals lately. Maybe the real reason the Florida scores dropped dramatically is that the Florida teachers, for the first time, STOPPED cheating to avoid getting caught. The actual performance levels of the students might be the same now as before.


26 posted on 05/16/2012 10:20:19 AM PDT by BlueMondaySkipper (Involuntarily subsidizing the parasite class since 1981)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

What’s the problem? As long as kids are able to send and read text messages, the schools have done their jobs, especially considering the paltry amount of tax money they have to work with.


27 posted on 05/16/2012 10:38:11 AM PDT by Fresh Wind ('People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook.' Richard M. Nixon)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The responsibility for learning is on the child. If he fails, he's either stupid, irresponsible or has parents that don't care. Schools can fix none of those.

I should add that all of Florida's teachers should have to score 80% or better on the test before they're allowed to teach the subject matter it covers -- or teach at all for that matter.

28 posted on 05/16/2012 10:44:51 AM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
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To: cloudmountain

“The Chinese now have an entire generation of men who are not married.”

This is the Chinese fighting force for world war 3. Chinese males, who have no one to return from war to, are more brutal. Especially when we send our women out to fight them.


29 posted on 05/16/2012 10:49:45 AM PDT by George from New England
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I’m in two minds over this... standardized tests are often normalized because of the inherent randomness of the relative difficulties of year X’s test vs. year Y (one test is almost certainly “easier” than the other, despite efforts made in advance to prevent that).

At the same time, this move appears completely reactionary to gloss over unexpected results. The very narrow scoring scale has a lot to do with that — if this were out of 1000 points, for example, a shift of “pass” from say 700 to 670 seems a lot more reasonable than moving it from 4/6 to 3/6.


30 posted on 05/16/2012 10:50:40 AM PDT by kevkrom (Those in a rush to trample the Constitution seem to forget that it is the source of their authority.)
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To: Fresh Wind; Cincinatus' Wife
.....able to send and read text messages, the schools have done their jobs, especially considering the paltry amount of tax money they have to work with.

Heartily in complete agreement. If FL-kids got too smart, just who the hell could they talk to in that benighted tropical heckhole anyway?

Whatever. These are the hanging chad people of the future.

31 posted on 05/16/2012 2:09:08 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (So, Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Roberts can't figure out if Obama is a Natural Born Citizen?)
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