Learning not measured by FCAT, teaching is needed

When Bill Cosby visited the University before Spring Break, a young student teacher asked him for advice. She explained she had two students in the fifth grade who were 15 years old and could not read.

She said she gave them a practice exam of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, and their scores were horrible. But when she read the exam to the students, they answered almost every question correctly.

Instead of taking so much time teaching our children how to test, we need to take the time to teach them the basic educational necessities of life such as reading, writing and arithmetic. Florida is one of the bottom-ranking states in terms of education.

It’s not fair that teachers are being put in a position to have to speed-teach children to prepare them for a test that doesn’t truly measure the intelligence of a child.

By eliminating this test and really taking the time to teach our children, there might be some hope of raising the graduation rate in our urban schools.

Students may have a high GPA and be involved in numerous activities, but if their FCAT scores aren’t high enough, they graduate from high school with a certificate of completion instead of a diploma.

And, unfortunately, a certificate of completion does not allow admittance into a four-year university.

Not to mention, students are held back from advancing to the next grade level if they can’t pass the FCAT, no matter if they are passing all classes with an A.

Even though this standardized test allows the state of Florida to grade its individual schools, it causes much stress in the lives of students. It’s hard enough trying to prepare for the ACT and SAT, but adding an additional state test is unnecessary.

Brent Hatchett for the Editorial Board.