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FCAT Passing Scores Lowered; What's Your Take?

The passing grade for Florida's standardized writing test has been lowered by an emergency rule, keeping the failure rate basically unchanged, TBO.com reports.

Was this the right call? What are your thoughts on the FCAT? Post your comment below.

The passing grade for Florida's standardized writing test has been lowered thanks to an emergency rule instituted Tuesday, keeping the failure rate basically unchanged from a year ago, TBO.com reports.

"The State Board of Education unanimously passed the rule today after preliminary results showed only about a third of students would pass this year," according to TBO's story.

That would have been down from 80 percent or better on last year's writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), TBO reports, a decrease that came after the test was made more difficult.

The FCAT writing test is taken by 4th-, 8th- and 10th-graders.

Read more about Tuesday's ruling on TBO.com.

a teacher May 20, 2012 at 01:30 PM
ALL I CAN SAY IS....spend a day in a classroom with 22 children who come from various homelife situations, and you'll say the same thing a parent volunteer said to me, "I don't know how you do this". I'm a 4th grade teacher, and I spend countless hrs each evening (weekends too) doing everything I can to bring success into my classroom. As teachers, our hands are tied. We are at the very bottom of a huge top-down institution. We are TOLD what to teach, where to be and when (to the minute), minutes to spend on each subject, what we can/can't talk about, we're even limited on when to go to the restroom. But this isn't a pity party....I LOVE WHAT I DO! I love greeting my children each morning, I love seeing the lightbulbs turn on, I love getting a hug from a child who doesn't get hugged at home. And at night, I come home to my own 3 children. I take work with me or make parent calls during their sports activities, and all because teaching is a calling...it's a sacrifice to teach other people's children. We know there are parents who don't care about supporting us. It all comes with the job. A child came to school one day last year with a sore throat and warm forehead. When I asked if he told his mom, he said his mom said, "you're going to school because I have a doctor appt and a massage today, and I can't take you with me." I had 4 students absent for 3 days after that. (continue below....)
a teacher May 20, 2012 at 01:39 PM
(continued) But like I said, it all comes with the job. I challenge any of you ignorant, finger-pointers to sub for me for a week. I don't think you could do it. Yes, the whole system is out-of-whack....but get up off your sofa and do something about it, instead of whining on blogs to people who can't do anything about it either. By the way, teachers either find a job over the summer (to pay the bills) or take courses UNPAID to better their skills. Again, don't judge until you've walked a mile in the shoes of a teacher.
Lynda May 20, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Thank you for putting into words the reality of a teacher's work. Many of us who chose to teach and then left the profession did so because a teacher's work stopped being valued by the community. You are a real hero to me for staying with the profession. More teachers need to speak out when they can to correct all the hateful comments directed at them and the work they do. And more of the rest of us who value hard-working teachers need to defend them when the ignorant criticize them unfairly.
Politics, Power, and Money May 25, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Walk in the steps of a teacher for 1 month and we will evaluate your success. Oh by the way live off of teacher salary and retirement. Oh don't forget the costly amount for health insurance. The best part is your evaluation with a classroom which is made up of 33% students with disabilities and 2% are children that do not speak English. You must find an extra 30 minutes in your day for intense remediation. I bet you would not work for an annual salary of $33,500.00 and pay all of the bills. Try it and let me know how it works for you.
Mark L Grantham May 25, 2012 at 02:27 AM
As we say in the Quaker faith, "this f/Friend speaks my mind", meaning I cannot add anything that will add to it. Teachers were once respected and honored, sadly this is not the case anymore. For those that say teachers only work X amount of days, what about the summer classes they have to take to keep up their license. There are plenty of teachers that work a second job just ro make ends meet! Not only is teaching a profession, it is a passion! Unfortunately, this passion is fading rapidly,especially when teachers are so quickly vilified.

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