What exactly is the FCAT?

The FCAT is Florida's high stake test. It was originally designed to measure achievement. This test consist of Reading, Math, Science, and Writing for grades 4, 8, and 10. This test takes 3-4 days to complete, and must be re-taken if a student is absent, or has not passed it. A student must pass the FCAT to receive a high school diploma. Failing the FCAT has resulted in mandated grade retentions, or remediation classes. According to Valerie Strauss, In 2011, only 39% of 10th graders passed the Reading portion of the FCAT. (2012)(Startling fact for such a high-stake test.

What are the legal and ethical implications for teachers?

Teachers must put hours of training to even administer the test, and this is done after school is over. They have to know all of the rules, such as when they are allowed to answer questions, where around the room she/he can walk, what pencils will be used, what time to start, what time to finish. There are many rules and regulations involving legal and ethical issues, and any misuse for a teacher can result in a whole class having to retake the test. A teachers salary, and evaluation depends greatly on the scoring of her students. There is a lot on the line for a teacher for this one test.

Preparing students for FCAT

Teachers really have to spend a lot of time ensuring that there students are FCAT ready. They need to send how flyers to parents with tips and dates of the testing, so that they can be sure they eat great, and sleep well! They must implement the many mandated FCAT practice test into the lesson plans, which may throw a wrench in their own lesson plans. FCAT can really scare some children, because in Florida, there is a lot of pressure on students, and teachers to pass. Teachers must also teach children test taking strategies, and make them feel as if this is any other test that they have studied hard for.

Should teachers teach the test?

Being that the FCAT is so highly administered and requires numerous legal requirements, I think that the FCAT is a huge part of a teacher's lesson plan already, so for them to teach the test, would maybe take off of some of the pressure that students have. They are being given a test by strangers in the state, so maybe if they received the test from their respected, and friendly teacher, they may feel a bit more comfortable. Not even teachers know exactly what is on the test, which is why they have to be sure to include every aspect that they can get their hands on. Many students just may be able to take off that extra scare factor, if it was taught by their teacher, but it is also a double edge sword, because they would not have as much time to teach everything else as well.
Big image


Image retrieved from : www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Strauss Valerie. 18 May 2012. How standardized tests are affecting public schools. The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/how-standardized-tests-are-affecting-public-schools/2012/05/17/gIQABH1NXU_blog.html