Shockingly low FCAT writing scores likely were the result of miscommunication among state educators, school districts and those who grade the tests, new Orange County schools superintendent Barbara Jenkins says.
“The belief is … that what was conveyed to school distirsts and what was conveyed to those who scored the writing may have been somewhat different,” Jenkins says this week on Intersection.
A state investigation will determine what caused FCAT writing scores to plummet so much state educators held an emergency meeting where they reduced the passing grade so school funding would not be drastically affected. Jenkins speculated that when state educators informed school districts the writing part of the FCAT would receive more scrutiny, what they told school districts was different from what they told those who grade the tests.
Jenkins acknowledged criticsm is growing for standardized testing as a means of measuring student achievement. In the wake of the low FCAT writing scores many have questioned whether too much standardized testing detracts from learning. State educators instituted tougher FCAT standards in preparation for new nationwide standards that take effect in 2015. Jenkins says the new nationwide standards will depend less on standardized testing and quiet the debate.
“Standardized testing as we have it today doesn’t really get at all of the brilliance of our students,” she says.
Where do you stand on standardized testing?
Intersection airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. The show is rebroadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. or Listen online and then share your perspective here on Florida Talks.
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