I, along with thousands of other Florida students, absolutely hate FCATs! I strongly believe that we should not take FCATS, and I can confidently say that almost every student, teacher, and parent associated with the public school system in the state of Florida agrees with me. The standardized testing method in Florida threatens its educational system every year, becoming worse through a series of changes that the state legislative considers “improvements.” There are three major reasons I believe the way I do. Let me begin by telling you that FCATs interrupt the learning process for students and put a lot of stress on them.
FCATs disturb the teaching process for teachers as well. Due to a decision made last year, a teachers’ salary depends on scores their students receive on the FCATs. This new obstacle pressures teachers to aim their curriculum on FCAT skills rather than helping their students actually learn. Also, Florida bases a school’s educational ranking off of the student’s FCAT scores. I find it unethical and unreasonable to assume so many things based on one test.
In addition, FCATs also harm Florida’s economy. An article titled “FCAT puts emphasis on money, not education” by Diana Clark in Panama City Beach, states that, “Passing the FCAT is all about money. The school passes the test, the teacher gets a raise and other school needs can be addressed.” FCATs don’t help a student’s education, but rather determine how money gets distributed. On a personal basis, teachers strive for their students to do well, so they can earn a higher salary, but school-wide, they try to do well enough, to earn higher funding to pay for school necessities. FCATs prove not only ineffective, but they also hurt the economy.
Therefore, I urge all of you to speak out against FCATS—today.