This morning in homes all over Florida moms and dads hugged their children a little longer, searched for words of encouragement and lifted their children in silent prayer, knowing that this is no ordinary day.
Every parent in Florida knows in their gut that bad things will happen to their beloved child if their FCAT score doesn’t measure up. Forget reading levels, brilliant book reports or amazing conversations full of hope before bedtime. The state of Florida will decide using only one tool.
“Cut scores,” have been rigged to substantially decrease the number of 4 and 5 scores and dramatically increase the number of D and F schools.
Parents and teachers across Florida must realize that when children who have been receiving a 5 or 4 turn up with a 3, it is not their fault. When a child who normally gets a 3 turns up with a 1, please understand that this was deliberately done by Florida officials.
Do not blame the children and do not blame their teachers. Children should be told that we will not let this one test doom or define them.
Do not accept that a third grader should be automatically retained based on one test, one day. Understand that this third grader would have made a 3 last year. No child deserves this label.
One Florida principal applied FCAT 2.0 to the 3rd grade scores from last year and found that the number of students retained in that one school would jump from 8 to 18.
This test was written to deliberately fail children. The goal is to manipulate outcomes so that 20 percent of all children are “failing” at any given time. The number of D and F schools will increase from 181 to 493.
Florida politicians voted this year to make D schools eligible for takeover by for-profit charter school developers. Under FCAT 2.0, the 493 new D and F schools will contain an attractive mix of recently A and B schools. Who profits?
Proponents of Florida’s “reform is never finished” political ideology has lobbied and passed so many laws that for the first time in the history of the state 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders will ALL graduate under different standards.
Here are the facts:
- 56% of all students taking FCAT 2.0 will receive a 1 or 2 and fail
- 10th graders must make a 3 on FCAT and pass Algebra I to receive a high school diploma
- Algebra I End of Course exam had less than a 40% pass rate during “pre-test analysis” at highest performing high schools
- Regardless of GPA, students who score a 2 or lower on FCAT 2.0 will be forced into expensive, time consuming remediation
- Remediation means loss of access to elective courses – band, art, drama, music, etc.
- School grades will drop, affecting property values and leaving schools vulnerable to hostile corporate takeover
- The unrelenting labeling of students, schools and communities as failures has long term economic and human consequences
- Every child, including third graders, must sign an oath pledging not to cheat on FCAT 2.0.
Parents and teachers must do everything they can to spread the truth about FCAT 2.0.
We cannot allow our children to be hurt by this process.
For more information, contact the author at http://www.fundeducationnow.org.