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[Susan notes: A Florida parent offers eloquent, heartbreaking evidence that the FCAT should be put on hold this year.]

Published in Sarasota Herald-Tribune

To the editor

Put FCAT on hold this year

My kids go to school in Charlotte County and are still in double sessions. Their school was Peace River, which has to be rebuilt.

Hurricane Charley has changed everything they do. They go to school at 1:20 in the afternoon and get home at 6:30 p.m. They don't get physical education, art class, music, etc.

They are in the classroom from the time they get there until they leave, except for 30 minutes for lunch. They are physically and mentally tired when they get home. My daughter is a third-grader, and all they do is read and write, all day. She used to love to read and write stories, and now she tells me how much she can't stand it.

The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test should be put on hold this year. These kids are too stressed to be given a test to determine if they are ready for the next grade. Some of them don't have a place to live. That's stress enough! The teachers are also very stressed, because FCAT is also a test to grade them.

I am not a big fan of the FCAT anyway, but the state is pushing these kids and teachers too hard to get the students ready for the test this year!

Rayann Crouch

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