Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: Here we see the importance of letters. One letter provokes another. . . and before you know it, we'll have a revolution.]

Published in Daytona Beach News

To the editor

FCAT scores' validity doubtful

Since the June 10 Community Voices column by Bill Archer, "For achievement, we must look beyond test results," it has been reported that there is a problem with the qualifications of the scorers of the recent Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests. It seems some of the hires may not have the qualifications that would allow them to reliably grade the "high-stakes" FCAT test. The results of those tests determine whether students are retained or promoted and what grades schools will earn for the purpose of receiving bonus money. The grades even affect the Average Yearly Progress score under which the No Child Left Behind Act determines whether a school's Title I funds will be continued. Mr. Archer's suspicion that there may be unqualified scorers has now become a reality. The latest findings show many of the people scoring the FCAT are unqualified! Therefore I believe FCAT results are invalid!

As a teacher of 43 years, I believe parents who are making decisions about their children's educational futures based on these scores need to be cautious. And those whose children have struggled with learning problems can be misled into believing there has been a sudden "cure" or, worse, that the public school teachers and administrators have been wrong in their professional judgments. Removing their children from their current schools to attend private schools as a reaction makes matters worse for their children.

Education Commissioner John Winn has minimized the news of unqualified scorers grading the high-stakes FCAT in an effort to keep the dialogue about the negative spinoffs from broadening into the scandal it deserves to be!

Sandra G. Blackburn

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.