FCAT Failure…


Kristen Dawson, Senior Staff Writer

The FCAT is an annual test given to Florida students that determines whether they can graduate to the next grade, teachers’ salaries, and the overall neighborhood value.

Thousands of students were unable to log on to the FCAT testing system in Southern Florida. The few students that were able to get through had to wait several minutes until the next question would come up.

Some students finished the test, despite the setbacks. Others had to take it later in the day while yet another group wasn’t able to take it at all and will have to make it up.

Problems with the FCAT are not uncommon. Technical problems have come up in Florida and across the country with online testing. Pearson also had issues with the state’s algebra test in 2011 and with delivering FCAT scores on time in 2010.

Florida Education Association said the problems are a sign that Florida isn’t prepared to move into more online testing, as it plans to do next year when FCAT is replaced by a new series of standardized exams.

“Today’s computer problems associated with administering the FCAT test prove yet again that the state is not prepared for such a large undertaking,” said Andy Ford, the state teacher’s union president to the Tampa Bay Times.

FCAT testing will continue as scheduled for Southern Florida districts.