School districts to be held harmless for low FCAT writing scores

Video from NBC-2

The State Board of Education announced today that school districts would be held harmless this year for the drastically low writing Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores, which were announced on Monday.

The state's decision lowers the passing FCAT writing score from a 4.0 to a 3.0. This means that more than 80 percent of students in grades 4, 8 and 10 would pass the test, rather than the 27 percent that the state announced yesterday.

“When I saw dramatic drop in scores I knew that students didn't all of a sudden overnight become bad writers,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson to more than 500 parents, teachers and community members listening in to this morning's emergency state board meeting.

The state has yet to release local district scores but expects to do so within the next few weeks.

For more on this story, check naplesnews.com for updates.

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 36

runninman213 writes:

Mexican and hatian are not languages... just sayin.

Redshoulderedhawk writes:

Harmless? Don't you mean "blameless"? Jeez, and we wonder why the schools are so bad. Does the NDN hire only the language-challenged? This sort of nonsense happens on a regular basis in only this paper.

Here4Now writes:

“When I saw dramatic drop in scores I knew that students didn't all of a sudden overnight become bad writers,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson

That's right GR, it took years of incompetent public instruction to get them that way.

Beachglow writes:

The dumbing of America while we pay these people huge salaries. I think the s----- ones are we, the taxpayers. We should demand good performance from the teachers with proof in order to pay them or even keep them in a job.

This is absurd.

citizen writes:

in response to Beachglow:

The dumbing of America while we pay these people huge salaries. I think the s----- ones are we, the taxpayers. We should demand good performance from the teachers with proof in order to pay them or even keep them in a job.

This is absurd.

Huge salaries? I've never heard of teachers’ salaries described as huge. The problem is with the unions protecting bad teachers. Rick Scott has the right idea. FIRE the lazy, underachieving teachers, and pay the good ones.

Niki_6 writes:

The future of Amerika!

dwyerj1 writes:

Tell the governor: teaching the illiterate how to write cannot happen in a day.

CanadianPrincess writes:

Children are being taught to "write freely" and express their thoughts. Here's an idea. Why don't we teach them to express their thoughts while writing correctly? One of my favorite book, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" tells the importance of correct grammar and punctuation. The story is that a panda bear goes into a restaurant and orders a meal. He eats all of it and then pulls out a gun. He shoots up the restaurant and kills all of the other patrons. Then he walks out. The owner comes running out after him and says "Hey! What are you doing? You can't just come in here and kill all of these people." The panda looks at him and says, "I'm a panda. Look it up." The panda then walks away. The man pulls out a dictionary and looks up the definition of panda. The dictionary says "Panda - a large black and white animal that eats, shoots, and leaves." That is the difference that a comma makes, and that is why we should refuse to accept a "dumbing down" of the educational system and, instead, insist that children be taught to write and speak English correctly.

youcantbeserious21 writes:

in response to Beachglow:

The dumbing of America while we pay these people huge salaries. I think the s----- ones are we, the taxpayers. We should demand good performance from the teachers with proof in order to pay them or even keep them in a job.

This is absurd.

You are truly clueless...try learning about a subject before posting some inane comment...

Teachers are teaching students who (1) barely speak English, which is what the test is given in; (2) have students whose parents couldn't care less about their time in school and (3) have to deal with people in the public, like you, who have no clue and continue to attack the profession.

Seriously - get a clue or get out of the way...

soothsayer writes:

in response to firedragon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are truly an ignorant simian who has never spent a minute in any school unless it was the result of compulsory attendance laws. If you were ever able to take off the ethnocentric blinders that result in your nativist perspective you would know that there are just as many native born whites who can't comprehend what they read and put together a coherent five paragraph paper as there are immigrants. The problem is that the native born troglodytes, like yourself, have no excuse for their low levels of performance in our misguided system of education. Quit making excuses for the problem and actually do something to solve it other than spewing your bigotted hatred on a local news blog. Why don't you try volunteering as a tutor in a school in order to make a difference as opposed to placing blame on people who simply want a chance to better themselves as ALL of our ancestors did. At some point in time somewhere, ALL our families were immigrants to this land!

Annex writes:

in response to weather_radar_25:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How ignorant....

Just for fun I looked at the grades of students in all my classes....its so funny how the majority (80%+) of the A's in my classes are from these so called "s-----" Haitian and Hispanic students.

Annex writes:

Also let me add this.

Don't blame the students for this problem. It was not there fault they are here. These students have been relocated by their parents and are forced to learn English. From what I see Haitian students are the most hard working out of any other race of students I work with because they feel they need to prove themselves to ignorant people like the few on this page.

GBBUZZ writes:

in response to Here4Now:

“When I saw dramatic drop in scores I knew that students didn't all of a sudden overnight become bad writers,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson

That's right GR, it took years of incompetent public instruction to get them that way.

The "incompetent public instruction" resulted in over 80% passing this "test" last year... Stick to sufrin" although you probably fail at it.

over60 writes:

At one time the passing score on FCAT Writing was 3.0 Over time the writing quality improved so the state raised the passing score to 4.0 out of 5.
Last year the students were passing at around 80% so it was time for improvement of standards. The tests covered more stringent versions of the standards and were to be graded differently. The schools were informed of this change in February. The tests administered in March as usual. The passing scores were not adjusted. Statewide it appears that actual student performance has not deteriorated. If you measure a line in centimeters one time and in inches the next the length of the line does not change, only the number of units.

The difficulty here is that this is a high stakes test and rules declare that only a "4" will do. Adjusting the scale is the only fair method to reflect the reality of the situation.

GBBUZZ writes:

Scott HAS to lower the "passing grade" on the FCAT Writes... If he doesn't, then over 70% of the students who took the FCAT Writes would fail while he is at the helm. Maybe Scott should't have cut the Educational Budget by $2 billion last year (then claim he raised it by $1 billion this year when he gave 1/2 of it back).

SCOTT IS THE ONLY ONE TO BLAME FOR THIS MESS!!

Jaimee writes:

in response to weather_radar_25:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What ever country these children are from, they would be learning English in school anyway. However in those countries there would be some accountability, the family would be recognized for holding them back

starvingartist writes:

in response to SNOWBIRD27:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your ignorance? Please tell me the last time a union teacher was fired in the state of Florida for poor performance? In no other field are the unqualified allowed to remain in the face of undisputed poor performance. All the Teachers care about is seniority, compensation and retirement benefits, Children? Who cares about our s----- children?

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to dwyerj1:

Tell the governor: teaching the illiterate how to write cannot happen in a day.

Indeed!

Are you talking about the parents or the students, eh?

Served your time! Just pray for November to hurry!

It 'twas a midsummer's eve and.............!

FreshFace writes:

Perhaps those scoring the tests weren't familiar with the crappy way in which kids are made to write for the FCAT? It's a travesty that such poor writing is encouraged and thought to be excellent writing. It's formulaic and boring!

FreshFace writes:

in response to firedragon:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Did you mean Spanish and Creole? "mexican and haitian" are not languages. (you seem very bright) -- that's sarcasm and no, it's not a language but should be!

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

in response to GBBUZZ:

Scott HAS to lower the "passing grade" on the FCAT Writes... If he doesn't, then over 70% of the students who took the FCAT Writes would fail while he is at the helm. Maybe Scott should't have cut the Educational Budget by $2 billion last year (then claim he raised it by $1 billion this year when he gave 1/2 of it back).

SCOTT IS THE ONLY ONE TO BLAME FOR THIS MESS!!

True! The Governor is the Chief Education Officer of the State!

But this has got to be coming from the white house, eh?

Don't blame me?

Time to clean house from top to bottom!

Final Flush in November!

FreshFace writes:

in response to weather_radar_25:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually, if you knew anything about the cultures of SW, FL you would know that most Haitian families respect and revere education. They support the teachers and discipline their children when they do don't do well or act poorly in school (sometimes their discipline is a bit extreme). Many of the children I taught of Haitian decent are in college as I type this, so I'm not sure where you get your information from; although I'm going to guess Fox News or something like that.

compteach writes:

Firedragon: The only sparks flashing in your brain come from your breath.

Until you walk the walk don't complain about those who quack.

I teach three AP Language classes, a dual- enrollment composition class and two English 3 classes.

Recently--after six-weeks of in-class research, instruction, and guidance--a position paper was due.

Every Haitian, Latin, Russian, Polish and foreign-exchange student turned in his or her paper.

Guess who didn't? The lazy sons and daughters of the [milennial] revolution who spend more time on their i-phones and Facebook than they do communicating with their parents.

Do you want to see a rise in test scores? Light a fire underneath the rumps of those students who believe they are the enfranchised, "fair-haired" children of the 21st Century.
Parents, do yourself a favor: delay the cell phone until your son or daughter's writing skills go beyond texting.

FreshFace writes:

in response to citizen:

Huge salaries? I've never heard of teachers’ salaries described as huge. The problem is with the unions protecting bad teachers. Rick Scott has the right idea. FIRE the lazy, underachieving teachers, and pay the good ones.

Well, teachers make huge salaries compared to the crap this Wal-mart greeter makes. It's all in the context my friend.

FreshFace writes:

in response to soothsayer:

You are truly an ignorant simian who has never spent a minute in any school unless it was the result of compulsory attendance laws. If you were ever able to take off the ethnocentric blinders that result in your nativist perspective you would know that there are just as many native born whites who can't comprehend what they read and put together a coherent five paragraph paper as there are immigrants. The problem is that the native born troglodytes, like yourself, have no excuse for their low levels of performance in our misguided system of education. Quit making excuses for the problem and actually do something to solve it other than spewing your bigotted hatred on a local news blog. Why don't you try volunteering as a tutor in a school in order to make a difference as opposed to placing blame on people who simply want a chance to better themselves as ALL of our ancestors did. At some point in time somewhere, ALL our families were immigrants to this land!

you call them "troglodytes". I like to call them white trash rednecks. Living large is a mullet and a night out at 7-11 on a beer run.

FreshFace writes:

in response to starvingartist:

Your ignorance? Please tell me the last time a union teacher was fired in the state of Florida for poor performance? In no other field are the unqualified allowed to remain in the face of undisputed poor performance. All the Teachers care about is seniority, compensation and retirement benefits, Children? Who cares about our s----- children?

I cannot name people on here, but I know of at least a dozen off the top of my head in Collier County alone. When you're ready to use your brain then I encourage you to Google what unions really are in a Right to Work state like FL. They have no leverage when it comes to crappy teachers. They have no leverage when it comes to awesome teachers that have crappy principals and or administrators. Get a clue and then get back to those of us that know what's going on.

Heraclitus writes:

The solution is obvious... keep cutting spending on education until the scores improve!

That'll teach 'em.

Heraclitus writes:

I'm reminded of an old axiom...

"When all else fails... lower your standards".

wonderful (Inactive) writes:

I'm really thinking that we need to appoint a committeee of educator CHUB to study this, eh?

lifeisgood writes:

in response to citizen:

Huge salaries? I've never heard of teachers’ salaries described as huge. The problem is with the unions protecting bad teachers. Rick Scott has the right idea. FIRE the lazy, underachieving teachers, and pay the good ones.

Well, that's what Dr. Thompson did...he fired a bunch of bad teachers, and the entire community rose up against him. And PULEEZ! Don't tell me that those were good teachers! The School Board did not hesitate one second to approve these firings. Piles and piles of files do not lie!

SunStar writes:

yep, it's not State's or School Boards' fault! Blame the innocent teachers, parents and students.

napleska7 writes:

The person living in a 10,000 square foot house with 6 cars in the driveway says teachers make too much.........LOOK IN THE MIRROR! What makes you so great?

Why weren't you a teacher? Because you couldn't afford your mansion and a car for every different day of the week. The public employees didn't cause the economic disaster we are in, but the finger sure does get pointed at them.

mr_1_term_proposition writes:

Teachers do not even have to teach now? All teachers are way, way grossly overpaid.

soccermompurple95 writes:

Why is it that the Department of Education is setting the students up for further failure by lowering the scores to 3.0. All this means is that the student can move on to the next grade and be further behind than what they already are. Which is setting them up for more failure.
Create a multigrade classroom for those that are struggling so that they can still have focus areas that are in need of improvement but stilll stay on course if they are ready for advancement in other fields.
Blaming on of this on teachers is not true. Some need to be held accountable for the low scores as they really don't care about the students and are already counting down the days until the end of school on their Facebook profiles. I mean really? If you are so ready for Summer vacation do all the students a favor QUIT! Parents need to be held accountable as well. You brought them into the world, you need to make sure that they are doing their work and if not, the student is held accountable but so is the parent.
With all the budget cuts that are going on, the district sdhould take a look at what the real problem is. Taking away the aides that go in and tutor the students that need extra help to improve those test scores not a smart idea to get rid of them. Assistant Principals are paid nicely and do not do much. The Principals can handle it all, they have Office Managers, Data Entry clerks and Sexretaries, why do you need Assistant Principals?

firebee writes:

in response to Beachglow:

The dumbing of America while we pay these people huge salaries. I think the s----- ones are we, the taxpayers. We should demand good performance from the teachers with proof in order to pay them or even keep them in a job.

This is absurd.

Your comment is absurd, except for including yourself in the category of "s----- ones" where your intelligence obviously places you.

jvic47 writes:

This practice started in major metro areas like new york and chicago.As the govt.throws more money at the problem the dumbing down of america now spreads accross the country.The Obama administration as well as other administrations have failed to halt this problem.Our education system is no better off now than it was 4yrs ago!

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