Sue Scheff: F-Word in Florida Education

Every February, parents and students alike cringe when they hear that dreaded four-letter word FCAT.

What exactly is the FCAT?  According tot he Florida Department of Education, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, is part of the state’s overall place to increase student achievement by implementing higher standards.  The FCAT, administered to students in Grades 3-11, consists of criterion-referenced tests (CRT) in mathematics, reading, science, and writing, which measure student progress toward meeting the Sunshine State Standards (SSS) benchmarks.

Because the state uses the results for a variety of purposes, including student retention and school funding, a great deal of emphasis is placed on the FCAT.  This can be quite stressful for both the children and the parents. 

Some tips were supplied by Weston teachers and school counselors in Our City Weston. 

  • Practice makes perfect.  It is beneficial for parents to provide an opportunity for daily FCAT practice.
  • Consider tutoring.  If your child needs extra help, take advantage of after-school tutoring and Saturday FCAT camps.  Ask your schools about the times.
  • Encourage “active reading.”  This means reading with a pen or pencil in hand.  Use your Post-It notes to designate spots you need to review or that need attention.
  • Find the “proof.” Encourage your children to find the proof that answers are correct.  Referring to text for textual support.
  • Don’t skip school.  Emphasize good attendance and punctuality for your child.
  • Read test questions carefully.
  • Instill confidence.  According to the American School Counselor Association the most important thing a parent can do is encourage their child to do his or her best.  Tell them you are proud of them.

February 9-11th the FCAT Writes exam starts.  The reading, math and science exams start on March 9-19th.  For more information visit Florida Dept of Education.

Being an educated parent will help you have prepared children.

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