I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Escambia County FCAT Scores W/ Comparison to 2008-2009 Scores

We've all heard the news and seen the articles-FCAT scores are out and Elementary School  and many Middle School grades around the state are dropping. 

Elementary School grades in Escambia county have dropped.  (A complete look at all Escambia County School Elementary and Middle School Grades with a year over year comparison can be found here . )

Was it the test?  Obviously there are problems with this year's test.  Nobody can doubt that.

But now the state has had two "independent" auditors look at and certify the results--Abracadabra, Shazam--everything is fine. These tests are fine....  ("The body on the beach was not a Shark Attack Victim, but rather a 'boating accident' "or better yet "these are not the droids you are looking for")

...of couse there were problems with this year's test--how else could one explain the fact that all 67 counties in the state experienced similar anomolies?  My hunch is that this test must have included some new concepts that were not taught to elementary schoolers throughout the state.  How else could such a mass drop occur?
If not the scoring, which we're told was "accurate" how else do you explain a group of students around the state suddenly and precipitously producing falling scores on the same sections of a standardized test?

Something was amiss and people knew it, so the release of the data was delayed, superintendents were called to Tallahassee in advance of the release to be briefed, and, voila-the test data is released and every elementary school in the state sees unusual issues with the scores.

Some state superintendents are not taking this well.   Some are so enraged that lawsuits have been contemplated.  This story is not over and there is definitely more to come.

In the meantime, however, we must not let this terrible, horrific handling of the FCAT by NCS Pearson and State bureaucrats derail our district's progress.  We must continue the focus on students; we must continue our forward progress even in the face of this temporary setback.

We will overcome this test result and we will bounce back stronger next year in spite of this hiccup.

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