Changing FCAT requirements for kids who can't pass just plain wrong

EDGEWATER -- The decision to change the FCAT scores to accommodate students who cannot pass the test is just wrong.

Apparently a vast majority of students can’t pass the writing part of the English test from what I heard.

So, what do you do about that? Do you find out why this is happening all of a sudden and fix the problem? No, the decision that was made was to lower the grade points needed to pass.

Now, does that make sense to you?

How many years have we had this test and those grades were the norm? What changed so much that they need to be lowered now? Shouldn’t we maintain a standard here? I think part of the problem is that we have many more children coming here from other countries trying to learn English and adapt to their new surroundings as well as many children who are homeless and hungry and having trouble studying. These things would cause a drop in ability to read and write English, so let’s try to fix that without lowering the standards.

Also, unfortunately too many kids are passed along grade after grade and even graduated without being able to effectively read and write, which is a travesty in this country especially. When I was a kid and a teacher gave a test that most of the class failed, he/she marked “on the curve.” We didn’t really understand that, but always were happy because it meant more of us would pass the test but now that I am grown I don’t believe it was fair to the ones who could pass to start with. Might as well learn about failure and its consequences at an early age. That would make you more apt to get better grades so as not to be a failure in the future, wouldn’t it?

It was not done often though so we knew we had to shape up and get the grade the right way in the future. If that many of the kids couldn’t pass, then the teacher needed to figure out what went wrong, how to get the information across to them and try once more. Of course, back then they held you back to repeat the grade if you weren’t up to par. This is rarely done today.

Sadly, education seems to be the first budget cut in tough times and it should be the last. Teachers have more students, less supplies and are not paid well but they are molding our future leaders. There are certainly more superfluous items that can be cut before resorting to teachers. Their wages are already too low with too often no raises coming, yet they put out their own money to buy supplies for poor children who just can’t provide for themselves.

How it that fair to anyone?

I thinkthe  FCAT should be done away with and kids taught what they need to know instead of how to take tests which is more the norm today. I am amazed at how much more I was taught than the kids of today when I spoke to my friend’s kids. They don’t know a lot of history that I know, can’t find places on a map of the world or have a clue where to start looking. They can’t make change without a calculator and so forth. So sad.

If they make it to college most of them will be like a fish out of water because of how much they don’t know and should. Aren’t we doing these kids a disservice by lowering the standard they should be striving for, one that hundreds of others before them have passed? By lowering their standards and our expectations of them we are lowering our state, too, and that’s just not right.

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Musings By Darlene Vann
Darlene Vann is a resident of Edgewater and has been with the 24/7 Internet newspaper from the onset. She likes to write about the lighter side of life, but sometimes feels compelled to tackle some of the tougher issues. The blog, "Musings" (and its contents), is the sole copyright-protected intellectual property of NSB News LLC, and cannot be reproduced, copied or published in whole or in part elsewhere without the prior expressed written permission of the publisher., and are owned by NSB News LLC. All three domains fall under the umbrella of Headline Surfer, a registered trademark.