Palm Beach County School Board Heads Up THe Fight Against The FCAT.
And it is about time. Not a weekend of baseball games go by where I don’t meet another mom who quit teaching. I meet very good educators on a weekly basis who tell me about how they quit teaching because they are no longer allowed to teach. They tell us that they spend all year getting the students ready for the FCAT and are left with less than 6 weeks after the testing to really teach anything of substance.
Good educators are leaving the public school systems not just here in Palm Beach County but all over the state of Florida and other states.
Palm Beach School board became the first board to sign a resolution requesting federal and state lawmakers to reduce their testing mandates.
It is not that the teachers and principles don’t want to test, they understand that some form of assessment is necessary in a big school district however, the current mandates are not helping the students or the parents or the teachers.
Students are losing real learning time. When the focus is on passing a test, that is all that energy and time is spent on. Then the day after the test, most students don’t even remember what was on the test. The retention of test taking is minimal at best. Then there are people who are terrible test takers and they don’t do well so then they are labeled less than competent at their grade level which is usually not the case.
Teachers and school boards around the state of Florida are calling for more reasonable assessments.
Testing is used for financial rewards for the schools, ratings for schools, evaluations of teachers, evaluations of principles and other evaluations. Testing is also used to pass students from third to fourth grade and for use in giving out high school diplomas.
This always leads to unintended consequences. The consequences in the high stakes and high pressure testing hurts the children and thwarts their creative progress, their natural curiousity and love of learning and also dumbs down the students because they are not actually studying subjects that will help them in life.
Of course, if you are a parent of children in the public school systems and you are not happy with what is going on you are allowed to homeschool your children in the state of Florida.