When students began testing last week, I challenged some local educators to take a sample version of the FCAT. Our sample exam included 14 8th grade level questions in the areas of math, science and reading. In part 1 of our special report, you saw the educators taking the exam. Here are their results.
Of all our test takers, School Board Member Ryan Neves scored the highest, but even he missed a couple questions. Neves says he's in favor of the FCAT, but learning these days is more than just retaining information.
"It would be nice instead of a calculator we could have google....." said Ryan Neves, Bay County School Board Member.
School Board Member Jerry Register also took our FCAT challenge.
"I think I feel differently now as a board member, as a past educator, that I know what kids go through," said Jerry Register, Bay County School Board Member.
Though he missed several questions himself, he says he believes the FCAT is a good measure of student success.
"It's had many criticisms. I think the test still can be tweaked more. But of all the tests we've given, all the tests we've given through the years, this is the most accountable one we've had," said Register.
Superintendent Bill Husfelt also missed several questions.
"It's not easy. It's very, very hard. Those are things you don't use on a day-to-day basis and so I'm just glad I got more than half of them right," said Bill Husfelt, Bay County School Superintendent.
Husfelt also says he believes the school district is forced to apply too much pressure on students to succeed on this one particular test.
"There's a lot riding on it and that's the part I don't like for kids is that it's a one-time test to take one measurement at one specific point in time during that school year for the kid. So much is riding on it. I mean most of us in our day-to-day work wouldn't want one incident to reflect everything we do on a daily basis," said Husfelt.
We want to thank Superintendent Husfelt and Board Members Neves and Register for agreeing to participate. Board Members Ginger Littleton, Donna Allen and Pat Sabiston declined to take part in our story.
This was not meant to embarrass anyone or make anyone feel inadequate. It was simply a way to show just how difficult this exam really can be.