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NCLB conflicts with FCAT results....failure of schools begins in Florida

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-04 08:54 PM
Original message
NCLB conflicts with FCAT results....failure of schools begins in Florida
Chaos reigns in many Florida schools systems....thanks, Jeb.

I am a retired teacher, still in touch with teachers trying to muddle through this mess. It just breaks my heart. Take these two articles with a grain of salt. The mess our schools are in here are due to the FCAT fiasco, as well as the upsurge in charter and magnet schools and schools of choice.

Most Polk Schools Maintain Grades
http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2004...
Dated June 16....This article sounds like schools are doing ok by state standards...FCAT.

SNIP..."BARTOW -- Polk County's public schools did not pull any surprises this year with FCAT grades, officials said Tuesday. Although grades dipped widely, the majority of the district's scores were stable, said Wilma Ferrer, Polk's senior director of assessment, accountability and evaluation.

"We pretty much got what we anticipated," Ferrer said about the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. This year 52 schools maintained the same grade as last year, but only seven improved their school grades, all from a B to an A. Last year 44 principals toasted a letter-grade boost." (It is almost impossible for an A school to get better.....there is no room above the A...so they usually go down.)

THE NEXT DAY
Now, the Federal report......only 21 of 129 schools made adequate progress. Jeb, is the FCAT flawed or the federal standards? Huh?

http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2004...
SNIP...."LAKELAND -- Only 21 of 129 schools in Polk County are making adequate progress according to the federal No Child Left Behind legislation. That means that hundreds of Polk students could be attending new schools next year.

The No Child Left Behind numbers were released by Polk officials Wednesday, one day after the district's schools received their grades from the state. The results are vastly different. The majority of Polk schools are doing well by state standards.

The reverse is true under federal guidelines, which call for severe penalties for schools receiving federal Title I funds for having a high percentage of low-income students....."END SNIP

Something is fishy. I am going to post another mess that is now underway. It is unbelievable that federal and state standards are so different. I know the schools mentioned, and I can put it in perspective enough to know that probably neither assessment is right.







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doni_georgia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-04 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. Sounds to me like FCAT is seriously flawed.
I'm in GA, my school made AYP again (got word day before yesterday - 100% of my students passed the all sections of the stupid test - I hate the thing, but as my job hangs on the results I am relieved). Each state designs its own test and sets the levels for passing scores. From what I have read about Florida, they set the system up for failure, due to the percent increase in scores in order to pass from year to year. Schools receiving an A one year is screwed the next year.

Frankly, as a teacher, I think that only taking the results of one test to judge how a kid did all year is not a good practice. Kids have bad days. Some kids have severe test anxiety. I had a kid this year in my class who broke out in hives each day of the CRCT. He was such a wreck, that he had to check out each day after the test. Bless him! He exceeded standards on each section (he's a brilliant little boy), but he was a total wreck during testing. Last year, I had a kid that threw up on the test from anxiety - oh God that was fun! We had to bag the test in a plastic bag and send it in to the state (vomit and all)!
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Katarina Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-04 09:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. My school district is going through this as well
This stuff is out of control. It is a no win situation. Here is an exerpt from an editorial in my paper this week.

<snip>

How does it figure that six of Flagler County's seven schools gets an "A" or "B" grade under Florida's grading system and not a one passes the federal No Child Left Behind test of having made "Adequate Yearly Progress"?

Or that 36 Volusia County elementary schools make "A" grades under the state system this year, but only 14 pass the federal AYP standards, and one of those making AYP slipped from an "A" Florida grade last year to a "B" this year?

And what are parents to think of the federal act that could force Volusia County schools to cut a summer school program aimed at helping pupils achieve at higher levels in order to meet the federal act's requirement that pupils be allowed to transfer out of some schools? Or even stranger, to fund private tutors at probably higher costs?

The absurdity of the system is spotlighted by the release Tuesday of both Florida school grades and federal grades. Westside Elementary School in Daytona Beach, for example, earned an "A" state grade (up from a "C" last year) but failed to pass the AYP standard. Why? Because the federal law requires that to pass AYP, a school has to meet 100 percent of 30 measures, and Westside met only 97 percent of the criteria.
http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/Opi...

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-04 09:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Destined for failure under NCLB, is what I think.
I would just love to get the source for something Dean quoted in one speech. I have not been able to find it, but I am still looking. He said that by 2013 all schools would be failing.

You just can NOT win if you have to get better than an A, because you can't get better than an A unless you improve.....and you can't improve on an A.
:shrug:

I don't believe it is just Florida either, though Florida schools have been corrupted under FCAT measures and manipulation at state levels....like doing away with the state board of education and letting mostly corporate people run it. There are 7 people on a board, appointed by Jeb, and answerable only to Jeb.

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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-04 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
4. Politics, not testing-- the formula for the test has been changed
EVERY year of the test's existence.

Don't believe anything that comes from these fools.

I was never happier than when I was able to bail my daughter out of a wasted FCAT focus year in 3rd grade (a total waste for her).
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-04 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. And bailed yourself out as well....right? I remember when you quit.
I am so glad I am out of the system now. I retired just in time.

How is Dubai and how are the lovely girls, including Crystal?

:hi:

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Skarbrowe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-04 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. can't deal with it

My much, much better half, in her 28th year of being a math teacher, has now been given the job of FCAT Math Coach. ??? I can't even listen to what's going on anymore. It makes no sense to me at all. Both the teachers and the children are having nervous breakdowns. The only thing I can think of is that there is diabolical plan being laid out by the republican party to destroy the public school system so private companies can come in and make a ton of money off trying to teach children. That makes no sense, or rather is an incomplete thought, but it's late, and like I said, I can't deal with it anymore. She tries to tell me about each new nightmare experience and my eyes glaze over.

Skarbrowe





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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-04 11:50 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Good post....and you got it!
You have my sympathies, and so does she. It is heartbreaking to watch them destroy the public school system so methodically. And even many teachers do not realize it yet.
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clyrc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. We are doing very well!
Although of course we are keeping up with US politics. I can't stand to look at Florida politics, though. We are coming back very soon, and I hope we can help a little with local campaigns.

:hi:
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-04 04:35 AM
Response to Original message
8. We still can't figure out my son's score.
He scored in the 99% level in Math, yet dropped a level? Is the test getting that easy?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-04 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. They are doing something to the scoring.
I have read things about it, but I don't understand it. If your son made the 99 percentile and dropped a level, then you know the scoring is flawed.

As I say, once you get to the top....how can you go higher? If a school gets an A, then how do they improve? That is the catch. They can't.

Full scoring was not in yet when I retired, started the next year. I don't fully understand it.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-19-04 11:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. This is fishy.
If he drops down a level, then he may not be elegible for certain college mailers?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 12:36 AM
Response to Original message
11. Here is the page of the folks who run the Florida schools.
http://www.fldoe.org/board /

I thought there were 7, but this shows 8. Must be Jim Horne plus the seven others. Most are not educators, nor have they ever been.

I don't understand the scoring here, nor do the still-working teachers. No one seems to know. Now the state is accusing schools of transferring students just before the tests. I will post an article about that later. It is impossible to do that the way the state is saying. It is a horrible situation.

Parents will just have to get mad to get results. If the federal and state standards are that much different, then something is really fishy.

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lazarus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-20-04 03:11 AM
Response to Original message
13. and the budget cuts
I just found out that the summer school programme in many counties in Florida has been cut. Amazing.
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