[Susan notes: 3 cheers for teachers who speak out.]
To the editor
We teachers in the public school system have been watching with great interest the debate on how the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test will be administered and used this hurricane year ("School board member urges tough stand on FCAT," Sept. 23). The original intent of the FCAT was to evaluate students to identify needs and measure progress. With the Florida A+ Plan and the nation's No Child Left Behind Act, that purpose has changed, as has the impact of this testing program. Now, in addition to student evaluation, the FCAT purports to evaluate schools, ignoring differences of socioeconomic and other demographic factors between schools. Financial support is predicated on those imperfect school ratings. The stakes could not be higher.
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