Friday, May 25, 2007


It seems as though there's something fishy going on down in the Sunshine State:
A state Senate education committee will open an inquiry into FCAT testing irregularities after Florida's Department of Education on Wednesday acknowledged a blunder that affected some 200,000 tests.

The investigation will center on who knew what when, said Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, chairman of the pre-K-12 education committee.

"Clearly the Department of Education has botched a pretty significant matter here," Gaetz said. "I think that certainly senators will want to know, the public will want to know, parents and teachers and schools will want to know if the problem ... compromises the reliability and validity of the FCAT."

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test carries some of the highest stakes in all of American testing. Although all states are required to administer standardized tests to measure student performance, Florida also uses its scores to determine whether seniors graduate from high school, third-graders move to fourth grade and teachers get bonuses.

Because of its all-encompassing nature, any mistake is magnified.

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