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[Susan notes: Multiply this student by all the students across the country: the best years of their lives are being stolen by the corporate-politico Standardistos. And we are letting it happen.



It's fitting this was published on the Fourth of July. Where is Ashley's freedom?]

Published in Bradenton Herald
07/04/2006

To the editor


FCAT is "stress test"



Speaking up about the FCAT, part II.



"Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock." I know I'm not the only one, but it just seems like

I have the hardest time on it. It just bothers me when you're timed and either

you pass or fail - and your whole future rides on this one test. Yeah, I'm

talking about the FCAT, "the stress test." I've always had a problem with

passing the FCAT, especially the reading part of it. Eighth grade was the first

time I ever got put in a remediation class, a reading remediation class. I

guess I slipped through the cracks with my good grades, but then again, what are

getting good grades and being a decent person worth these days? It seems

like nothing unless you add passing the FCAT to that. Knowing that the FCAT is a

big test and my reputation and image depend on passing it, I get even more

stressed. When FCAT day arrives, I get so nervous I freeze up and act like I'm

not playing with a full deck. I just don't test well.



If I'm having trouble passing the "stress test" I can't imagine how any

other students who speak a different language other then English do or might feel

about their future! Why does one test determine whether I walk across that

stage to accept my high school diploma or fail the year that is the most

important? How can I concentrate on anything else high school has to offer if the

most important thing for me is to pass the FCAT, the "stress test"? What

happens to learning things like respect, cooperation, integrity, citizenship and

honesty or better yet, the skills I need to be a productive and successful

citizen? I thought high school was supposed to be the best years of my life. I

guess I will have to stick with my dream and goal . . . to pass the FCAT.





Bradenton



Ashley J. Nelsen


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