EDUCATION: Why won’t Florida’s Republican leaders even listen to parents about FCAT?

I have no idea, but here’s another one who doesn’t like it:

I have had an epiphany with regards to FCAT. After much thought and watching my son having to take this test for the past five years I have come to the conclusion the way FCAT is administered is overkill for our students, for our teachers and for our budget. Don’t get me wrong, we need metrics to see where we need to improve, but we need to do it smarter and cheaper.

The reason I am concerned about this is that I am a father of a son and he attends public school in Okaloosa County in Florida. My wife and I are lucky. Okaloosa County, while not one of the most densely or urbanized counties in Florida, has one of the better public school systems in the state. But make no mistake, we as a state and as a country as a whole, are going to have to spend less money on our schools. We are bankrupt as country and the free ride is over. Cost saving measures are no longer an “if” scenario, it is a “when” and “how”.

I propose the first sacred cow to go is the way we administer FCAT. Every year, every school in Florida abandons their curriculum for two (or more) weeks and cram for a standardized test. This puts pressure on students and teachers (whose fate hinges on how well their students perform). This is a sheer waste of time for my son, who is a smart kid and who is, according to Florida, “Gifted” (except when it comes to picking up after himself). It is a waste of my taxes, my son’s time and my son’s teachers time for them to waste two weeks cramming for and a week taking the FCAT every year. My son also hangs out with other kids as bright as he is and guess what, I’m pissed that my tax money is going to support a test that just interrupts these kids studies as well. It is a waste of time, money and damn expensive.

The writer is a Republican as am I. I cannot speak for him, but I am unable to accept the heavy-handed manner the barons of our party in Florida continue to shove all this down our throats. I guess they believe that, “you just don’t know what’s good for you.”

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This post was written by bobsikes on June 27, 2010

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