No one would miss FCAT if state budge...

No one would miss FCAT if state budget must be cut

There are 88 comments on the South Florida Sun-Sentinel story from Mar 4, 2009, titled No one would miss FCAT if state budget must be cut. In it, South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that:

Could it be that our economic problems are bigger than even ... ... the FCAT ? In January, Palm Beach County School Superintendent Art Johnson said he was happy that the effects of the downsized state budget ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

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Love the Idea

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#1 Mar 4, 2009
Good Lord, thank you for sending us this message of common sense. An actual VIABLE suggestion and potential solution. I would like to point out one small detail, which isn't often publicized (but should be).

The $51.5 million that would be saved is just the contracted FCAT cost for the test booklets & answer sheets. That $51.5 million does NOT include the Keys to the FCAT booklet printed & sent home to EVERY student. That $51.5 million does NOT include the training & preparation materials we buy from the same test company. That $51.5 million does NOT include all the Scoring of the tests. That $51.5 million does NOT cover all the remediation & tutoring materials bought AFTER the test to try & bring the low students' test grades up. And worst... that $51.5 million does NOT include the cost of instructional time LOST in the classrooms during the Benchmark testings in the Fall, the FCAT testings in the Spring. How much are all of those days true learning worth? The school calendar is only 180 days long as it is.
If we had ALLTHE NUMBERS to crunch, the state would probably save over $100 million dollars. Maybe we could focus on teaching the whole child without the FCAT distraction; We could keep music, art, band, and Athletics in the curriculum. Raising well-rounded students requires WAY more skills than just Math, Reading & Science drills. We need to teach & engage the WHOLE child.

DUMP the FCAT and investigate the politicians & lobbyists who are making a killing of this absurdity. Give end-of-the-year Final Exams instead. Let the people decide the relevance of standardized testing.

Amen, Ralph De La Cruz! AMEN!!!
Lolo

Miami, FL

#2 Mar 4, 2009
I couldnt agree with you more...Just give a regular standardized test and get rid of all he foolishness that goes with the FCAT...find a less costly system of measuring a school...about using the private media....how about US. NEWS & WORLD Report....I'm sure the system they use to measure colleges doesnt amount to a 52 million dollar headache
No Brainer

Palm Beach Gardens, FL

#3 Mar 4, 2009
The FCAT has grown into a "Bernie Madoff" ponzi scheme. There are so many well connected people making a good living off providing goods and services for administering this over-priced assessment. Fifty some million dollars is just the tip of the iceberg in costs. Most tax payers aren't privy to the total costs of the FCAT and just who is profiting from it. It certainly is not the students attending school in FL. As a matter of personal opinion, the FCAT seems to be lowering student achievement and is not preparing many of our youth for productive lives beyond school. If it's all about "the kids", deep six the FCAT and replace it with something more affordable and meaningful. Taxpayers are not getting a lot of bang for their bucks. Let the teachers teach and produce responsible young people who can eventually contribute to their communities and live more fruitful lives. It's a "no brainer"!
abc

Boca Raton, FL

#4 Mar 5, 2009
wow....50 mil for that crappy test? so much stress & time being wasted on it rather than actually studying something productive...
Teach Your Childeren Well

Hollywood, FL

#6 Mar 5, 2009
I can tell you first hand that millions are spent in Broward County so the useless top level administrators can run around telling you how the District is making huge achievement gains. Ask most teachers and they'll tell you that the kids are unmotivated, and their skill are decreasing. The reason for this is that many schools are teaching to the test, rather than teaching a real world curriculum. Love the comment that the FCAT is educations Bernie Madof ponzi scheme. Just remember that there are politicains lining their pockets with this FCAT money. Also, Broward County schools mysteriously seems to have Harcourt as the provider of most every text book. All you see in the texts is FCAT garbage. Do I smell corruption? Which of our lousy administrators is lining their pockets with Harcourt money. It's all a big scam and the kids are the victims. Don't belive a word Notter says about the budget. There is more fat then you can imagine, like his car allowance for starters.
Tamarac Tony

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#7 Mar 5, 2009
Why not cut the $100 Million out of the School Boards' budget?
The true Ponzi scheme is the miseducation of our kids, the waste of money on useless curricula and the never ending whining by those in the school industry, to avoid accountability.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE LOTTERY MONEY?
Wasn't that supposed to "enhance" education?
Instead of scapegoating the FCAT, why not find out where the money went?
FCAT may not be perfect but at least it demands that our kids know a bit more than how to hit the "hamburger button" on a cash register.
Cruiser

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#8 Mar 5, 2009
Ralph, just because a no-talent like yourself can get by without skills, it doesn't mean other children will be so lucky. Testing, whether you call it FCAT or SAT or ACT is the 'gatekeeper' to the next level. Losers like yourself couldn't pass a kindergarten test so you oppose any test. Your writing is simplistic and thought-free. You must give good head to keep your job. Let's save fifty cents and fire you.
Cruiser

Fort Lauderdale, FL

#9 Mar 5, 2009
abc wrote:
wow....50 mil for that crappy test? so much stress & time being wasted on it rather than actually studying something productive...
Wake up, loser. Broward county spend TWO BILLION DOLLARS a year on 'education'. TWO BILLION. That's just Broward County. Saving fifty mill is chump change. Taking away testing just allows children to pass through a cinderblock baby sitting facility for 12 years to graduate without any skills. The FCAT measures your knowledge of math, writing, literature, and language. This state has become the third world hell hole with all the illegals here. They have IQ's of 70 and clog the schools so no one gets an education.
Voted for Obama

Key West, FL

#10 Mar 5, 2009
Great article and totally agree 100%.
whodat

Port Saint Lucie, FL

#11 Mar 5, 2009
This article makes perfect sense! The Billions this program costs to administer is a total waste. FCAT is all our kids are learning and missing out on a whole lot more education. Drop this useless test and let the teachers do their thing. Students are going to fail or succeed with or without the FCAT!!
Go Gators

West Palm Beach, FL

#12 Mar 5, 2009
This article makes perfect sense. That is why I predict it will never happen. Too many Bushes are getting rich peddling FCAT testing materials. As far as "Ms. Cruiser" you do not know what you are talking about which is why you make personal attacks against the writer. Broward students also take national standardized tests which are a much better benchmark than the Florida only FCAT. Once Broward students graduate from high school, they are competing against students from all over the country for college admissions.
Did you know Broward County has been making cuts to its budget since 2006? That is when Tallahassee began cutting their lottery funding to all of the counties in Southeast Florida. The school districts in SE Florida have had smaller budgets for the past three years. Broward County schools have been working very hard to deal with annual budget cuts without impacting the students however it is not easy when our state is dead last in per pupil funding (according to information given out on the news during last week's protest).
student

Miami, FL

#13 Mar 5, 2009
Cruiser wrote:
<quoted text> Wake up, loser. Broward county spend TWO BILLION DOLLARS a year on 'education'. TWO BILLION. That's just Broward County. Saving fifty mill is chump change. Taking away testing just allows children to pass through a cinderblock baby sitting facility for 12 years to graduate without any skills. The FCAT measures your knowledge of math, writing, literature, and language. This state has become the third world hell hole with all the illegals here. They have IQ's of 70 and clog the schools so no one gets an education.
No sir, you need to wake up! I seriously doubt that you go to s public school in florida or you would know that the FCAT is a complete waste of money. How many years have we had the FCAT because I haven't seen any improvements in south florida schools since the test has started to be issued. I'm sorry if I'm a person who thinks students should actually learn life skills instead of focusing year round on how to pass a test. The FCAT will not provide us with the proper skills needed in life. Good riddens FCAT for all I care

“Yankee Redneck”

Since: Dec 06

Original 13 States

#14 Mar 5, 2009
Great Loser's Idea Ralph !!!

Let's save more money and make school optional.
Or
Let's hand out vouchers to the parents which can be used to pay taxes or buy food.
Or
Cut out of the school classes on stupid things like global warming, same-sex relationship etc.

Once again you want to allow the teachers to operate in an environment where there are no measures and kids to pass thru without learning basic reading/writing/math.

Then they all can work for the SS (if it still exists) and write dumb a** articles like this.

BHO will take care of them !!!
Palm Bch School Dist

West Palm Beach, FL

#15 Mar 5, 2009
Ther's another big expense that hasn't been listed. All of those big bucks that schools spend on FCAT prizes such as TVs, Ipods, etc siphon money away that could be spent on educational needs.
Reality Check

Stuart, FL

#16 Mar 5, 2009
Horrors! A test to measure how the education system is doing? How unfair! And the test is standardized! We can't have standards in a "diversified" society or a socialized system like the schools! Oh my god, what would Karl Marx think!
Jen

Boca Raton, FL

#17 Mar 5, 2009
As a parent and taxpayer, I wish the FCAT was gone. The teachers hate it, and unless my children are going to get jobs as professional test takers, there is no use for this test.

I agree with the idea that this just lines the pockets of politician's (Jebby Boy) friends. The textbooks and workbooks are all geared on how to teach the children to pass the test, not learn the skill sets for their grade.

If they need a standardized test, how about one that tests what the children should be learning, not teach them what is on the test.
Max

Boone, NC

#18 Mar 5, 2009
Right. No standards. Standards cause stress in our kids, and our kids have a constitutional right not to be stressed. They have a constitutional right to feel good.

We may become a nation of uneducated, aimless zombies, but we'll feel good. What else is there? We can all become contestants on American Idol!

Since: Jan 09

Miami, FL

#19 Mar 5, 2009
There are hidden cost to the FCAT that most people have no idea what goes on in the background. Like sending a large group of scholars from Florida to an expensive hotel for over a week to select questions for the following FCAT.

Maybe if we eliminate FCAT we can concentrate on education for our student's future. About a quarter of the students who graduate from high school go to a university and only about half of them go on to graduate. That is why our budget should sway towards the bulk of students that never finish college.

Start academy programs in each school so they can come out of high school with a career and in most cases a certificate in that specific industry. There are academies for Cisco, early hood child care, auto/aviation mechanics, culinary, and many more programs that will actually benefit these young adults for the rest of their lives.
vickie

United States

#20 Mar 5, 2009
My third grade son is so stressed, he hates going to school fearing failure, it used to be fun to learn.
Omni

Englewood, TN

#21 Mar 5, 2009
Cruiser wrote:
Ralph, just because a no-talent like yourself can get by without skills, it doesn't mean other children will be so lucky. Testing, whether you call it FCAT or SAT or ACT is the 'gatekeeper' to the next level. Losers like yourself couldn't pass a kindergarten test so you oppose any test. Your writing is simplistic and thought-free. You must give good head to keep your job. Let's save fifty cents and fire you.
You're sp right. Ralph will prefer spanish to english since English is tough. No wonder the people like Ralph and Jose abandoning their country and coming here and advising us. Kick out all the spanish teachers and illegals from the school. This is America. Teach them English and our culture instead of the language and culture of Ass_cleaners and chicken feeders.

These losers don't want any yard stick to measure the progress. The life is full of tests and if you can not face it in the school then go to the losers land of south america or miami.

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