As a mother of children in Florida schools I haven’t come across to many parents or teachers that are happy with the FCAT’s (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test). I remember when I was in school we took this test I believe once. It was not a test you were graded on it was a test the school was graded on. However over the years the test has evolved into the “test of all test“.
Pros: This test I do believe it is a good test to gauge overall knowledge of the student. It is a somewhat fairly good picture of what the child has learned and retained during the school year. It is a gauge of how well the teacher is has done at teaching her students and gives you insight to their strengths and weaknesses.
Are we putting to much pressure on our children? I remember the days of SAT Tutoring wanting to make sure you scored high to help get you into the college of your dreams. However FCAT tutoring seems to be a little much. My son has been taking FCAT tutoring twice a week in the morning before school at the recommendation of his teacher in preparation for the FCAT Writes.
Cons: Because this test is linked to school funded teachers are pressured to make sure the children get good grades. I believe teachers are now forced to teach children HOW to past the test, instead of focuses sometimes on the material itself.
Cons: My number one beef with this test is the stress it puts on my children. It has been drilled into them all year long how important these test are. In third grade you have to pass the test to advance. Definitely not something I’m fond of. One test should not determine your pass or fail of a grade. My oldest son did not sleep the night before his third grade test and almost threw up the next morning because he was so nervous.
“I TOTALLY agree w/you Colleen. My husband is an elementary teacher and he HATES the FCAT. He gets a HUGE amount of pressure for his kids to get good FCAT scores, and is always concerned for his job if his Title 1 kids don’t pass. He almost doesn’t like teaching because he can’t actually teach material- he feels like all he does is FCAT prep all year. He actually has district people come into his classroom to make sure he has the right posters on his wall- seriously- or they’ll cite him! Posters? Because that really helps our kids learn- geez! Sorry- this is a sore subject for us even on the educators end! I have actually taken part of the FCAT test and it is a JOKE. Seriously- the only thing you need to know for the FCAT is how to read and comprehend what you read. There was no true science or math. If you could read the question and the paragraph ALL the answers are right there. That only tests the kids that can comprehend what they read- not actually test them on the subject material! Anyways….sorry to rant! I think it is a sorry situation all the way around for kids AND teachers. 🙁“
The kids eat, sleep, and breathe FCAT preparation as the testing time approaches. I feel bad for not only the students that get nervous and worried but for the teachers that are pressured to make sure their children do well on the test, knowing this is what could make or break them.