This time of year, most high school seniors are thinking about prom-who they’ll take and what they’ll wear- and graduation after parties.
Unfortunately, senior year celebrations are the last thing on some students’ minds.
They can’t think about capping off four years of high school because they’re still trying to graduate.
Seniors who pass all of their classes still cannot graduate from high school with a diploma unless they’ve passed the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
Instead of walking with their friends and classmates, they will receive a certificate of completion.
The state of Florida wants to thank them for showing up, give them a kick on the behind and tell them to get to stepping-nothing more.
Many argue the FCAT is designed to ensure Florida’s students are on the same high achievement level.
That is an idealistic argument.
Florida’s students do not enjoy the same standard of education. So for them to be on the same achievement level is impossible.
The FCAT is just a way for the state government to pretend it is providing students with equal opportunities in education. No test will allow Florida’s students to enjoy equity in education or the same level of achievement.
A test can only measure a student’s achievement level.
To make sure Florida’s students have that equity, the state government must first create standards by which students will be taught. And that has to go beyond curriculum.
Equally functioning facilities, the most up to date and accurate textbooks, and equal access to technology are a great start.
Until these standards are achieved, it will be wrong to keep students from graduating even though they’ve passed all of their classes.
Augustine Rho for The Famuan.