Emergency Meeting Planned to Discuss Drastically Lower FCAT Scores

By: Bryan Anderson Email
By: Bryan Anderson Email

Panama City- There were more questions than answers Monday following the Department of Eduation's release of the preliminary FCAT writing scores.

"My heart dropped really," said Breakfast Point Academy teacher Amanda Walker.

School districts received a short powerpoint showing the state's overall performance in grades four, eight, and ten, and the news wasn't good.

"It's a terrible thing to hear," said Walker.

In 2011, 80% of students in the tenth grade scored a four or higher on the standardized test. In 2012, just 38% managed to make a passing grade. Eighth graders followed the same pattern with 82% passing last year, only 33% this year. Fourth grade scores were the worst. 81% scored a four or higher in 2011. This year that number fell to a staggering 27%.

"That's an astronomical drop," said Walker.

Walker said she was at a loss given the amount of time she spent preparing her class.

"That kind of drop would indicate that it's not really a problem with the students," said Walker.

But without a county by county breakdown of the scores, Bay District administrators said they're in the same boat as teachers and parents playing the waiting game.

"We don't know our scores yet. We may have faired better than we think," said Bay District Coordinator of Assestment and Accountability Camilla Hudson.

The Department of Education will be holding an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the results.


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  • by Kyle Location: Asheville, NC on May 15, 2012 at 10:36 AM
    That is why FCAT is the worst thing to happen to the school system in the last decade, it was ment only to show where schools can improve not base their funding on, they need just an assessment test, and not one that is required to pass to get paid. This is why I am glad I moved from Florida before my two youngest went into school, so they can learn what they need to succeed in life, and not learn how to pass a single test.
  • by Richard Location: Chipley, FL on May 15, 2012 at 09:13 AM
    I would have to agree with Sam. The politicians are doing such a wonderful (not) job with running our government! They need to step back and let the educators do their jobs. Teachers are spending so much of their time focusing on FCATs they are neglecting teaching our children what is really important. Testing on Fridays and report cards should be all we need to find out whether our children are learning.
  • by cindy Location: youngstown on May 15, 2012 at 07:51 AM
    My daughter has completed 4 online classes this year as well as going to school everyday. My daughter has a slight learning disability and has struggled the whole time she has been in school. She has since overcome all of that and has went on to make straight A's and B's the whole time she has been in high school and the only that is holding her back from graudting this year is if she passes the these test. She has meet all of the other requiments that was need to graudate but these test
  • by Dave Location: Panama City on May 15, 2012 at 07:49 AM
    This is not the teacher's fault. The fault belongs on the students themselves, all the kids now days want to do is play video games. They dont want to put the time in for their studies. They think that all they have to do is show up for school and they will get a passing grade. The teachers put all of their time in to teaching the students, but this is a 1st through 12th grade process and the kids themselves just don't care about it.
    • reply
      by Tamalina on May 15, 2012 at 08:10 AM in reply to Dave
      Im a single mother of three boys, and Im here to tell you my children don't stay in front of a tv playen games. So the fault doesn't belong to the children, nor completly with the teachers. Its the administrators that create this criteria thats overwhelming these children. They loose interest, find out failure prior to suceeding, drop out rates are rising. Im a firm believer in education, I have a degree myself, however I believe in a child enjoying school not going day and all afternoon because of homework...
  • by Sam Location: Panama City on May 14, 2012 at 07:35 PM
    This is what happens when you continually allow politics to enter the classroom. The State Board of Education does not contain educators but citizens who think they know how to operate a school. Educators appaeared before the State Board and repeatedly told them that they were going to have lower scores, but the State Board would rather listen to the Jeb Bush thinktank and they approved the higher standards. If you think this is bad wait until the other FCAT results come out - they are going to be lower than ever before. Florida needs to do away with the State Board of Education and move back to elected officials being on the State Board.
  • by Sheila Location: Lynn Haven on May 14, 2012 at 06:41 PM
    This will continue as long as they are hiring people to teach that do not have their degree in education. Why doesn't wjhg do a story on how many teachers in bay county do not have their degree in education??
    • reply
      by Anonymous on May 15, 2012 at 07:17 AM in reply to Sheila
      I would have to agree with you somewhat Sheila, but not across the board. An educator, is someone who loves what they are doing though. As an out of my field educator(Computer Science-engineering flavor), I 'truly' love working with my kids, and working my kids, with a passion to seeing them grow. Granted, I'm a bookworm and have been around education all my life, but I've just seen too many accredited teachers who are burned out with 'the system', and try no harder than I do on a daily basis. The point I think, is that it is 'some' combination of the system that is broken rather than the kids or those trying to teach them.
      • reply
        by Tamalina on May 15, 2012 at 08:14 AM in reply to
        Anonymous that is what is so sad, with the budget cuts these educators face, they are petrified of bucking the system. They sat there with there hearts being ripped out watching these children struggle to accomplish what the STATE says they have to have..FOR WHAT..I honestly don't understand how they can take so much away from the teachers, yet add so much to these children...God Bless you for what you do..
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