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Florida Must Decide Which Test Will Replace FCAT


BRADENTON – Florida has been telling parents, teachers and students fed up with its controversial, high-stakes FCAT exam that the test will be gone by the 2014/15 school year since back in 2010. Only even though the state has to decide by June which tests it will use in its conversion to the new Common Core standards, the decision remains unclear.

Florida is part of a 25-state partnership called the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College (PARCC) that will use new exams as part of Common Core. The PARCC states received a $170 million federal grant to complete the project. Florida's new Education Commissioner, Tony Bennett, came from Indiana, another state in that group.

However, there is uncertainty whether PARCC's finished product, which will include online assessments, will work for Florida and Bennett has said the state is looking for a "plan b." At last month's Florida Board of Education meeting, Bennett said six "non-negotiables" will factor in.

1. The test specs must be comparable to FCAT

2. Accountability supports current systems

3. Suppport must include timely and informative reports

4. Technology to include a paper/pencil option

5. Fits timeline and is viable long-term

6. Interim assessments could be blended in 2013-14

The slide show (click to view) said that the board was still collecting data on other "plan b" options to conduct analysis on the above criteria.


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