Tuesday, February 07, 2006

FCATs begin are your kids psyched or scared?

The much-anticipated testing period kicks off this week, with writing exams for 4th-, 8th- and 10th-grade levels.

Pencils are sharpened, practice tests have been taken and Central Florida educators say they've done their best to prepare their students for the annual Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

This year's FCAT period begins Tuesday with the writing exam for students in fourth, eighth and 10th grades. It includes an essay or story and multiple-choice questions.

"The kids are psyched for it," said Sylvia Garcia, assistant principal at Volusia County's Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson.

All of the writing exams will be completed by Wednesday, but testing will resume later this month with reading and math for students in grades three through 10. Fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders also will be taking the science exam before testing ends on March 9.

Florida's Department of Education will release scores statewide in May, followed a month later by A-to-F letter grades for each public school that met testing requirements. FCAT results also are used to determine whether schools are making adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law.
There has to be a better way to measure a student's success than with a single test.

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