Tampa Bay Times agrees with Outtakes

My Outtakes “FCAT Reality Check” got picked in an expanded version by Florida Voices and Tampa Tribune’s Hernando Today. Imagine that you are asked to build a building. You don’t have control over the foundation or the materials. You pay is tied to the finished structure, but your boss won’t tell you how many rooms, the amenities or its height until you are just weeks from your deadline. You have to hope that your day-to-day efforts are moving you in the right direction.

That is the lot of a public school teacher. Every year the rules change. Lawmakers had new requirements. The tests, standards and scoring still aren’t settled until the school year has already started. Yet teacher’s performance evaluation and pay is tied to their students’ test results.

The writing exam debacle shows how ridiculous the testing has become and how little time teachers are given to the ever-changing tests and grading systems.

The Tampa Bay Times agrees. Their editorial board had this to say about what they call the “FCAT Fiasco”:

What it means is that there is too much emphasis on standardized tests and that the state’s manipulation of the rules render the test scores meaningless.

Read their editorial.