The FCAT is:
A. An instrument for extracting pigment from the brain
B. A performance evaluation of a struggling feline worker
C. A tribute paid to the Emperor Assessus
D. A type of jazz musician
What is the main purpose of the FCAT?
E. To memorize forms of memorization
F. To compare and contrast results of multiple test versions
G. To persuade students that benchmarks are graffiti that Florida cannot decipher
H. To entertain the media and employ proctors
When FCAT test results show a 50-percent failure rate statewide, the thing to do is:
I. Lower the passing score by a full point
J. Raise better test takers
K. Raise overall education pressure by adding an inert gas of standards
L. Lower the curtain and play the finale
FCAT scores are to teacher pay, as
M. V-necks are to territorial expansion
N. Inverted pyramids are to cell mitosis
O. Whiffle balls are to artesian well water
P. Pork dumplings are to thermal updraft
Why are “tough” and “tougher” so often used to describe the FCAT?
Q. Because it is gristly and stringy — use a serrated knife
R. Because it is gristly, stringy and stringent — try a cleaver
S. Because it hardens to a stringy, stingy stringency — better get a saw
T. Because it hardens to stingy, stringent astringency, with strings — chainsaw
Which data set best identifies the FCAT benefit to Florida students?
U. Sunshine State Standards buy Next Generation bling, “upgrade” FCAT 1998 to FCAT 2.0 2011, and sign a $254-million contract with Pearson
V. Remedial classes, retake textbooks, and commissioned content proliferate
W. Clusters constellate: USED, NCLB, RTTT, FLDOE, NGSSS, CCSS, FSU, LSI, CPALMS, FCR-STEM, EOC, CBT
X. Florida wins RTTT $700 million, CPALMS wins $10.5 million and PARCC wins $186 million to reform reform’s reform (by 2015)
*Y and Z do not fit test design, and were held back. Accountability may require corrective action to learned habits, such as alphabets.
**If you fail this test (passing score = 3-ish) you have five fully-funded retake opportunities.
***Now online! PARCC prototypes for pro-test practice, in multiple choice format — ideal for teaching students how a predetermined range of options does a lot of the choosing for you. Just as it does in public funds appropriations.
Shannon Burns, Miami Beach Senior High School PTSA, Bay Harbor Islands