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The Dreaded FCAT is secretly causing the demise of our children. (FLA PARENTS)


WriterMom April 16, 2008

I would be in total favor of banning the FCAT FOREVER if I could find someone to give me a dotted line to sign on.

My son has repeatedly failed the reading part of this moronic test, and now has to retake it yet AGAIN in 2 months. I refer to it as "moronic" because it's only purpose is to grade an entire school based on where 10th graders are at academically.  I fail to see the purpose of it when all I have seen is how much it stresses out my son every year. TWICE he has "almost" passed it. Once, by only 1 point. When I asked him why it's so hard to take, he said that the reading test doesn't have ANYTHING TO DO WITH what's being taught or has been taught to him in an actual classroom. Even though he said he purposefully studied for the reading test the last time he took it, and "guessed" at the math part. Ironically, he passed the math section with flying colors, only to fail the reading segment, yet again. Every year, he waits with shear dread for the results.

I never did well with reading comprehension "tests" either when I was in school. In fact, I was forced to take extra credit reading classes to help boost my grade point average so I would pass. It was humiliating, and always very stressful. I went through 12 years of school being scolded by my parents because my teachers labeled me as one who "would not apply myself." It didn't seem to matter that I always aced English, or that I excelled in other classes.  The one I always failed at got me in trouble.

Again, I call the FCAT "MORONIC" because I now write for a living, and my son is the Editor-in-Chief of his school newspaper. I am 46 years old, and never went to college for journalism, but yet I am a published author and smart enough to write for Disney.

Once my son became Editor-in-Chief of his high school newspaper, he decided to put his literary power to use.  He researched other school related academic achievements of hundreds of students, and wrote about it.  He made the "D" Stigma, (his school’s been given), on the cover page as well as the center spread, noting that being labeled a "D" school due to the FCAT scores does not make one a "D" student by any means.

He was called to the principal's office upon distribution, and thought he would receive a reprimand. Instead, the principal congratulated him on his story, and the truth behind it.

Just recently, he realized that the FCAT test is in April. His face lost all color when he said he hopes that the FCATs aren't going to be the same week as the Journalism State Competition in Tampa, or else, "I'll just kill myself." I was stunned, because my son never talks this way.

He has been preparing all year for this competition, and even paid his deposit on the trip. He'll be giving up Grad Night just so he can attend this event. It absolutely horrified me to hear him talk this way. 

Whatever "genius" thought up this asinine test needs to have his head examined. It's doing our kids more HARM than GOOD.  Since its birth, the FCAT has only had negative repercussions. It makes high school students feel bad about themselves if their school is labeled anything but an “A” school. If your school falls to an “F” it risks being closed down. (Like many here in south Florida). Thus, kids who hoped to graduate with their friends are displaced throughout an entire county, and/or waiting placement.

Failing FCAT causes low self esteem amongst students and their peers that may lead to depression, anxiety, and even a sense of hopelessness. Uncertain future comes into play for college bound students since their graduation is no longer secured by class work alone. I’ve been told that the higher the overall grade for the school, the more funding they receive from the state. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?? After all, wouldn’t we as parents and teachers run to the aide of a failing student before offering assistance to an “A” student? 

What message is this sending to our kids by constantly placing negative labels on them and their school?  Do school officials honestly expect THIS to improve school spirit? Do they expect THIS to boost student morale?  My son was awarded "A Honor Roll" last semester, with a GPA of 4.0. I can remember my high school years being some of the best times of my life, and I never had a GPA of 4.0. However, my son cannot say the same. He's been told that if he does not pass the FCAT this time around, he will not graduate. This, they're saying to a kid who has over 800 service hours, whereas, only 40 are required by end of senior year.   It won't  matter that he's an "A" student. If he fails the reading again, he'll be labeled a failure. Period. 

I rest my case.

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LydiaS May 26, 2009

I am a mother of two wonderful girls that always got A's and B's Outstanding and at grade level, And today I receive a shock news from one of my girls teacher that my daughter may be held in 3rd grade for failing this FCATs test. My daughter right the minute they notified them about this she start to cry until at 9:pm she finally fall asleep. Her self esteem drop immediate. And she ask me the most interesting question, Why do I have to get good grade and do a lot of hard work if I'm not going to go to 4th grade with my friends? Now what do you tell a girl that she gives everything to have always good grades that the System of Education sees her like a failure because she didn't't pass her FCAT's.


2ndtimeMom May 27, 2009

There was an earlier post that the ACT can override the FCAT. Why don't you look into that? It may be a little late but go ahead and look into it. It costs like $40 and you can take it on a Saturday. The exact same thing happened to my daughter and if i had that information, she would have graduated with her class.


mom2all June 1, 2009

I agree with the proud parent of the 4.0 how can a failing FCAT determine if you graduate or not ? How many of the teachers can pass the test? If you want to fail any child because of the failing grade on the test then I think you should make all of the teachers in the state take it and if they don't pass it then replace them with someone who can. Now I bet the state will look at the test a whole new way.. My child is also a 4.0 student but whos to say he would even pass the test. I don't know . So are you telling me if a child receives all failing grades he or she could possibly pass the Fcat and then pass on to the next grade. Because that should be the case since an all A student could fail the fcat and not graduate then that should stand as well. I guess we won't be relocating to Florida afterall. Thanks for the headsup , and good luck with your smart child he is not a failure.


emyers June 18, 2009

I understand completely about your situation. My daughter has been fighting the FCAT battle in math and I am proud to say she improved her score by 120 points and passed. This sounds great right? But the pressure she was put under was to the detriment of all her other grades. I mean who has time to study other subjects when you are killing yourself studying and fretting over FCAT. My daughter doubled up on her math classes as well as having tutoring after school and virtual school. All her A classes fell to B classes and her grade point dropped by one whole point , but hey-she passed her FCAT! big whoop, what does that prove. Now I am sure she will bring her grade point back up this coming year and now all we have to do is worry about science FCAT. Wonder if she will have to sacrafice anything else. She already is unable to get her English major because of the math requirements (she will be 1 credit shy)which means summer school or more virtual school. They already require more than the class slots allow. Now with the addition of more math requirements for incoming freshman about the only major you can finish is math. I'm sure you are a good student and have interests and abilities. Too bad it is so hard for the Florida system to understand this.


Jennie64 August 10, 2009

I totally agree with all the FCAT haters here. Its a part of the reason my son is now in private school. But please don't blame the teachers and call for them to be replaced if they can't pass the test. Most of the teachers I was in contact with while my son was in public school hated the test as much as we all do.


reallygoodmom February 21, 2013

My son told me that he hasn't learned anything in school since the 5th grade other than how to take a test.

I am a FLORIDA resident.
my child's school is in Palm Beach County
10th & 11th grade

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