Skinning the Cat: Part 1

By: Kristy Wolski Email
By: Kristy Wolski Email

The FCAT is a state-mandated exam, testing students knowledge of math, reading, science and writing. 3rd grade students must earn a reading score of 2 or higher to be promoted. High school sophomores have to pass the reading and math sections before then can get a diploma.

I narrowed down a few questions from the reading, science and math portions of the 8th grade FCAT and then sat down with several Bay County educators.

Before becoming a School Board Member, Jerry Register spent 30 years with the Bay County school system. He gave the FCAT a try and admits some of the questions were tough.

"I think the reading questions and the science questions were challenging to say the least," said Jerry Register, Bay Co. School Board Member.

In his new role of School Superintendent, Bill Husfelt stays busy dealing with a budget crisis. But we took a few minutes of his time for our FCAT challenge. Husfelt says he's always had respect for students. This experience carried that respect to a higher level.

"The more the public is aware of how challenging this test is the more respect they'll have for these kids. I mean I would like to see a lot of adults have to take this. I would like to see our state legislators have to take the test. It would be very, very interesting," said Bill Husfelt, Bay County School Superintendent.

For school board member Ryan Neves the FCAT became a bit of a sibling rivalry between him and his brother Todd. The duo went into the test pretty confident but were surprised by some of the questions.

"It was a little more difficult then I thought it would be," said Ryan Neves , Bay Co. School Board Member.

Not all of your Bay County School Board Members were willing to give the FCAT a try. The three veterans, Ginger Littleton, Donna Allen, and Pat Sabiston all declined to take part in our story.

The FCAT is not mandated by local school boards, but rather by the state. In the next part of this series I'll show you how our test takers fared on the exam.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Holly Location: Panama City on Mar 19, 2009 at 06:30 AM
    As an educator I am concerned that 3 members wouldn't take the test. I would also like to know how everyone did. The test is hard. I've given pratice test and taken them, I have to think twice about some answers. I also worry about the comments people are making. Please spell check and try to use correct mechanics. The students look at these also.
  • by ted Location: weems on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:05 PM
    i feel that if the kids are made to take the fcat test there should be a test for the educaters from teacher to the school board members and if they dont pass they should not hold any office in the school system.
  • by Robin Location: Panama City on Mar 18, 2009 at 03:43 PM
    The F-Cat is a joke!!! It is to hard for Florida children, because the teachers are just not teaching the stuff at the level the test is made up for. The teachers need to hold children's interest or they drop, to hold their interest you have to compete with today's technology and the teaching tools and interest is not there when it comes to the F-Cat. Most teachers just cram for the test a month in advance to get it over with and then go on to holding the children's interest with real interesting teaching tools and books. If you compare the school books the school board has for the children now, you will discover that they don't even match the teaching exams of the F-Cat. It is all off balance. Meaning, it's a JOKE!! You stress the kids out and it is really to measure the teachings from the teachers, but even then, you made it impossible for them to teach, the F-Cat is not tested for Florida children, at their real ability. It is to advanced. So teachers, children and schools SUFFER.
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