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.