Thursday, February 10, 2011

Test Scores don’t make a State – Community Does

In the State of Florida, and throughout the United States, the NCLB law forced State testing to commence. Through a given school year, students may take as many as 10 tests just to be counted as progressing. In Florida, NCLB has become a drastic failure, yet some might have you believe the scores say otherwise. A State Written test to grow the States reputation is easy to design and grade, yet these are not the scores we need to follow

In Florida, FCAT scores have shown a rise…go Florida, yet…Scores have remained very stagnant in the tests that count.
The scores that matter are SAT scores, since this is a nationwide test, ACT (Nationwide) and College Entrance exams. All of these have the remained the same or gone lower. The actual State comparison chart is disgusting. According to this chart, Florida ranks 44th in the Country is SAT results:

Perhaps we can compare on the National Standard of AP testing where we end up having an average pass rate of 41% across AP exams. Again embarrassing – especially when parents who are guiding these AP students toward college…are actually not participating at all.

Anyone can work the FCAT to show growth, and this has been done. Writing is not better, nor is English or Math, we just say it is with manipulated data.
I am a public school teacher and the rhetoric remains, pass the FCAT kids and all will be good.
We need to change the whole face of education, and ironically, the measure we need is money to afford the proper technology, training, and more for the students and the teachers.
We also need parents to help enforce education in the State to make it part of the culture. Governor Rick Scott can take away or give (I know the legislature actually does this) to education; yet until we make education a piece of our culture, we will remain bottom of the barrel. And before people run around excited that Ed-Week says Florida is ranked 5th in education, we are not. Florida increased FCAT scores so much we moved into 5th through test differential. We raised the lowest performing students just that much.

To make a difference we need to become the difference, and when we do people who are refusing to work now will start, because the community will make it happen. Education is the future, let's make it work people (especially Politian's) or as a State we will remain in the hands of a Mouse.

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