FCAT, FCAT and more FCAT

The 2007 FCAT scores and School Grades are out. Both show a decrease from last year, but the county I work in did quite well. In fact all but one of 25 elementary schools got an A, while the other got a B. The high schools need work as 3 out of the six high schools dropped one letter grade, with one dropping to a D.

The FCAT has been around since 1999, and the kids from the elementary grades 3, 4, 5 should be 10th, 11th and 12th grade high school students. Why, if the elementary schools have been doing so well are the high schools lagging behind?

Here are a few of my thoughts:

  1. Lack of standardization in teaching from elementary to high school.
  2. Kids get older, are given more choices both in school and at home. They are not mature enough yet to know how to process those choices.
  3. Outside of school the kids are more and more on their own with both parents working or a single parent household.

Here are some thoughts on how to correct them:

  1. Standardize classes with reading, writing and science blocks.
  2. Limit choices at school to 4 major topics of study and fewer elective classes in those major topics of study.
  3. Segregate the freshmen classes in high schools to a certain building for most of the day. Allowing only grade intermingling during lunch, study hall and at school events.
  4. Require more parent involvement.

One other thing that I don’t think some of the community understands or gets to see is that the high schools need to be the most up to date facilities that we have. Students cannot learn as well in a run down 40 year old school with exposed pipes as they can in a modern, clean, well maintained school.

Want FCAT results? We need to change, we need to follow new directions in our teaching.

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