Foundation for Florida’s Future Response to State Board's Action on 2012 FCAT Writing Scores
Tallahassee, Florida – Today, the Florida Board of Education affirmed Florida’s accountability system and the importance of high academic standards.
“The State Board of Education’s decision provides stability to Florida’s school grading and accountability system, while upholding the higher standards they adopted last summer,” said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of the Foundation for Florida’s Future. “We applaud the Board's decision to protect the integrity of Florida’s proven accountability system and ensure district leaders and teachers are provided the information and resources necessary to help each student master critical writing skills. Thanks to their decision today and Florida’s accountability system – our teachers and leaders – have more time to do what they do best -- equip students with the knowledge and skills to achieve their God-given potential.”
Florida is implementing new tests. For the first time, the quality of a student’s spelling, grammar and punctuation were included in their writing score. This year, students were also expected to write at a higher level than before and use details to support their statements. These criteria were not part of how the writing test was graded in previous years. These factors were adopted last summer to better prepare students for success.
“Parents, teachers and school leaders are on the front lines of preparing students for success. We support Commissioner Robinson's looking into the process by which parents and teachers are informed and included. Parents need to know, and teachers deserve the best training available in order to ensure students are confident to perform at their highest level.”
The Foundation for Florida’s Future applauds the Board’s decision to raise academic standards last summer. Florida’s economic success and the future of today’s students are dependent on how well we prepare them for success after high school. Florida is one of 45 other states implementing a common set of world-class standards by 2015. This year, Florida is taking the first step by incrementally raising standards now to better prepare students for the higher expectations coming in three years.
Raising standards and measuring students’ progress toward achieving those standards is critical to a quality education system. Tests help teachers, parents and school leaders know which students are struggling, so they can provide immediate support and assistance to these students. Year after year, standards, and the assessments that measure student progress in achieving those standards, and the teachers who teach the standards, have helped Florida schools improve. They are tools to ensure that our children are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. We must prepare Florida’s children to be competitors in their local community, in the state, in the nation and the global economy, and Florida’s teachers, through our new standards and assessments can and will make that happen.
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