FCAT, i.e Standardized Testing

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hortysir, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. hortysir
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    hortysir In Memorial of 47

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    Here, in FL, it's called the FCATs.
    All students must take it in order to move on to the next grade.

    I'm starting this thread because my 3 youngest grandkids just got their test results.
    My grandson got a 4 in Writing, a 3 in Math, and a 2 in Reading on this standardized test.
    All through the school year he had nothing but B's ans S's in Reading (every other subject, too, for that matter).
    But, because he got a 2 on this one test, he is passed "with intensive remediation".

    So, because of the results of ONE Test, he has to take remedial classes next year??
    Like I said, he had all B's all school year long.


    Okay, I've ranted.

    Can someone give me the plus-side to these ridiculous tests?
     
  2. Quantum Windbag
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    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

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    There is no plus side.
     
  3. hortysir
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    hortysir In Memorial of 47

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    Thank you, QW.
    I totally agree.

    Thought this thread was headed to the archives :D
     
  4. Jon
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    Jon The CPA

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    Depending on the grading system, these tests are likely more accurate than his results throughout the school year. It could be that his teacher's grading policy is too lenient, or that she gives a lot of homework assignments that boosts grades in spite of a student's level of understanding.

    These tests are designed to test all the students in your state and see if they are all at the same level of understanding for certain subjects. It would appear that your grandkid is below standard in reading comprehension. It doesn't mean he can't read or that he isn't smart, it most likely means that his school isn't preparing him adequately for the state's preferred material.

    Blame the school, not the test.
     
  5. hortysir
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    hortysir In Memorial of 47

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    Thanks, Jon.
    And, no, I didn't take it that you thought he isn't smart.

    What I find ironic, though, is they "teach the test" all damned year long.
    The teachers have this test drilled into their curriculum so deeply it's ridiculous.
    Hell, one of his sisters gets so anxious before test time she literally gets physically ill worrying about this one test.

    If they "teach the test" all year, and you get Bs, why should one low grade put you into remedial classes?
     
  6. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    What this means to me is that teachers are most likely being paid more than they are apparently worth in your state.
     
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  7. hortysir
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    hortysir In Memorial of 47

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    My thoughts, exactly, Paulie!
    Thanks
     
  8. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    Actually, I should clarify. I don't know what their salaries are, so that comment was somewhat unfounded. I guess what I meant was that the teachers GENERALLY aren't putting in the requisite amount of work that the state's educational standards personnel are apparently expecting.

    Whether that's still worth their salaries is for you to decide.
     
  9. Greenbeard
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    Greenbeard Gold Member

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    I'm torn on this one. Important, high-pressure tests aren't particularly novel. The SAT and ACT have been around for a while, and in college classes that lend themselves to testing (say real analysis or physics or something) the bulk of a student's grade may depend on one midterm and one final test, with a small amount of the grade dependent on homework assignments. Even in high schools, Advanced Placement classes are all aimed at the AP tests offered in May each year. And growing up in Ohio, I had to pass state-administered proficiency tests every 4 years starting in elementary school, as I think kids in many states must do.

    It seems like the criticisms of using tests to evaluate where a student is at hinge on two points: 1) it narrows the scope of what a teacher will introduce to students and 2) it may have pedagogical implications (i.e. teachers may try to "teach to the test"). I'm not sure how concerned I am about that. I know the way my high school AP classes were taught was heavily influenced by the structure of the tests they were designed to prepare us for. That is to say, there were pedagogical implications for how the classes were taught--we were taught to the test. But the material was conveyed and if you knew it you did well on the test.

    Is the problem here just the question of what to do with someone who's a bad test-taker and for whatever reason finds it difficult to apply/demonstrate their knowledge on standardized tests?
     
  10. Paulie
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    Paulie Platinum Member

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    I don't subscribe to the notion of "bad test taker".

    If you know the material, you know the material. If you don't, you don't. In the real world you are going to be in a plethora of stressful situations throughout your life where split decisions are needed, and something serious is on the line.

    If you can't handle a test, you've got bigger problems lying ahead in your life than so-called "bad test taking".
     
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