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Suddenly, 10th-graders are FCAT flops

A moving bar makes failures of students who tested well once and still outrank U.S. peers.

As Sharon Nichols and David Berliner observe in their new book Collateral Damage, cut scores are political. They are not made by teachers or by psychomatricians; they are made by corporate-politicos.

By Letitia Stein and Thomas C. Tobin

Florida's 10th-graders look like terrible readers. Their FCAT scores are the worst in the state.

Yet those same students are among the best readers on a test that compares Florida students with their peers across the United States. They also score well on the FCAT math test.

Why the confusing results?

Blame an FCAT system that holds students in different grades to very different standards.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in high school, where the bar is highest. Only one-third of Florida's 10th-graders met FCAT reading standards last year. By contrast, nearly two-thirds of seventh-graders passed. . . .

NOTE: The St. Petersburg Times does not allow me to post full articles. For the rest of the article go to the url below.

— Letitia Stein and Thomas C. Tobin
St. Petersburg Times


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