Viewers respond to higher FCAT standards

Viewers respond to higher FCAT standards

By Matt Grant. CREATED Jan 10, 2012

CAPE CORAL - Students across the state will start taking the FCAT next month, and the results aren't expected to be pretty.

“What we're going to see along with every school district in the state we're all bracing for lower student scores and a drop in school grades.” Lee School spokesperson Joe Donzelli said.

Students will have to get higher scores to get them ready to switch over to another tougher standardized test that's more widely used.

Trish Lally Kiley from Cape Coral is frustrated with the state's educational system, posting on our Facebook page: "I saw my son's math book, and it says "Florida edition"... We shouldn't have a special edition. Why isn't it the same edition throughout the country. We should all be learning at the same pace."

A spokesperson for Lee District Schools says teachers have been pushing students to keep up the pace.   “We've really been working in our classrooms with our students knowing of the increase expectations.

But Estela Arteaga Hernandez says these types of tests are nearsighted. posting on Facebook: "Definitely true that there is more focus on passing the test than teaching a broader spectrum. And then we wonder why our students are falling behind."

Many of you think the FCAT needs to go away, like Andrea Feicke, posting: "They need to do away with the test all together. I don't know one teacher who thinks the FCAT is a good thing. Let the teachers teach instead of teaching to the test.

The new tougher standardized test will be phased in 3 years.

FORT MYERS - State changes to the FCAT will make it harder for your kids to pass.

"In the middle of the game we've changed the rules," said Lee County School District spokesperson Joe Donzelli.

Florida recently approved a higher threshold students have to meet to pass the FCAT. Because of that, the Lee County School District says they are expecting to see a dent in grades.

"What we're going to see, along with every school district in the state," said Donzelli, "we're all bracing for lower student scores and a drop in school grades."

Starting with next month's FCAT, students will have to get a higher score to pass. But Donzelli says they've known about these changes since last summer and have been preparing students for it all year.

e've really been working in our classrooms with our students knowing of the increased expectations," said Donzelli.

"Even though you're going to see some of those grades, or maybe some student numbers go down," said Donzelli, "we're hoping that overall students are going to do pretty well."

So why the change? In three years Florida will do away with the FCAT switching to a standardized test used by more than 40 states called the comprehensive core assessment.
"Does this put a lot of pressure on teachers now to try to bring the scores up?," asked Fox 4 reporter Matt Grant.

"It puts a lot of pressure on a lot of people," said Donzelli.

Even though some "A" schools may drop to a "B" or a "C," Donzelli defends the FCAT changes saying it will ultimately help students transition to the new test while learning more in the process. 

"You want them to not get in a comfort zone," said Donzelli. "You want them to push themselves to get better. That's what it's all about."

Lee Schools: FCAT

Matt Grant