As millions of kids returned to Florida schools on Monday, Governor Rick Scott and the Republican Party released a new TV spot with a promise.
“I’ve listened to the frustrations parents and teachers have with the FCAT. Next year we begin improving our testing system. No more teaching to the test,” says the commercial.
After we watched the video we called the Department of Education to ask them what they Governor meant. Their response? Ask him.
So we did.
“They way you to that is you have tests that are no just...they are analytical instead of just asking for some memorization,” says the Governor.
Scott continued to push the education agenda six blocks from the Capitol, accepting a check from Publix Charities to help kids learn to read.
The FCAT ends in the 2014 school year with or without a push from Rick Scott. That’s when Florida joins 44 other states that have adopted Common core standards. Teachers say just changing tests won’t change the testing culture.
“It really gives us an opportunity to get everybody together and come up with a good system of evaluating students and teachers. Making sure that we that we’ve raised our standards and that we’ve improved public schools and provided the funding for it,” says Mark Pudlow of Florida’s Education Association.
As FCAT is being phased out, students are also facing more end of course exams that began last year.
The Governor provided no specifics on how the test would be changed. The state is in the middle of a 50 million dollar a year, five year contract to implement the FCAT test.