Just days after the Florida Department of Education announced more than two thirds of , a local teachers union is calling on officials to get the state to deemphasize the test’s weight.
According to The Tampa Tribune, Lynne Webb, president of United School Employees of Pasco, is asking the county’s school board to pass a resolution telling the state to reduce the weight standardized tests carry.
"It hasn't helped students," the Tribune quoted Webb as saying. "It hasn't helped teachers be better at their profession. And it costs millions of taxpayer dollars."
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News that the writing portion of the FCAT broke earlier this week. Students were graded more strictly this year in areas such as grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Pasco County Schools Superintendent Heather Fiorentino said the rules of the game changed without allowing teachers enough time to correct their course and prepare students.
"Children have not suddenly grown dumb," Webb said.
In response to the failing grades, the state made an for this year’s test. The result is roughly an 80 percent pass rate, which matches last year’s testing results.
If Pasco fulfills Webb’s request, it will join St. Lucie and Palm Beach counties in telling the state standardized tests shouldn’t serve as such a strong measure of student performance or ability.
Last year, on all portions of the new FCAT 2.0 test. The science portion, however, gave the district some trouble. The overall pass rate was less than 50 percent.
The validity of some questions on standardized tests has also fallen under scrutiny in recent months. NCS Pearson, the creator of the FCAT and other similar tests, has taken shots for including on some of its exams.