With the Common Core Assessments beginning in 2014, it makes sense to have a moratorium on FCAT testing. It’s illogical to prepare ninth graders for the FCAT while at the same time preparing them for the Common Core Initiative. These are two different tests. Teachers and students should be focused on the higher-level thinking skills that the Common Core requires.
The FCAT, frankly, is a poor test. Considering the fiasco of last year and the ridiculous, nonsensical manipulation of the results, it’s a waste of time, energy and, most important, student learning to continue the FCAT.
In Broward County, much of our school year is spent testing students. The acronyms are hard to keep track of: FCAT, BAT I, BAT II, PSAT, PERT, ASVAB, FAIR and ePAT, to name a few. Student learning suffers; school days are chaotic; curriculums are disrupted.
What students need most is consistency, stability and sensible choices about their needs by thoughtful educators who pause to think through the implications of what their testing schedules are doing to our children. Illogical and disruptive testing is harmful, not helpful. Students deserve better.
James Mulhern, teacher, Stranahan High School, Fort Lauderdale