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Dade County

Testing Abuse

So, what else should one expect from the home of the chads?! The next thing you know, standardized tests will be measured by using this effective (????) polling format too!

Fat-CAT Testing Frying Young Floridian Brains and Harming Teachers

Name: [name redacted]
E-mail: [redacted]
Anonymous: Yes
Post: Yes
State: Florida
County: Dade
District: Dade
Date: June 9, 2001

I'm an a reading specialist with 23 years experience. The State of Florida has instituted a state wide test called the F-CAT that is required to graduate from high school. There are three tests--reading, math, and writing. They are issued in 4th, 8th and 10th grade. This year's 10th graders are now required to take this test instead of a much easier test. The pressure on the 10th graders is unbelievable. The entire curriculum is focused on this test, F-CAT

F-CAT, F-CAT, F-CAT is drilled into the students' brains with no mercy. Creativity in both teaching and students is being denied. The testing format is multiple choice and essay. The test is timed. The previous test was not timed and was all multiple choice. The schools in Florida are graded. If your school has the same low score three years in a row, the state threatens to withhold funding, replace faculties, and reduce teacher's salaries if their students' scores don't improve. The pressure is so tremendous, that I've developed a nervous trembling in my hands and now it has moved to my neck, too. The more I work on the test, the worse the students' behavior becomes. They have come to the point that they have quit caring about this test. They feel that the test is totally unfair and that most of their teachers couldn't pass it. My students say that they would love to see the politicians pass it. It's too much harassment. No one can learn under this circumstances. Our youth are rebelling against authority out of frustration. If I survive, I plan to relocate after one more year of torture. The schools have turned into war zones with the students on one side and the teachers/administrators on the other. The peer groups have evolved into uncontrollable nightmares drunk on power. Each day it intensifies.

I fear more shootings and other violence against teachers because we are in the trenches everyday trying desperately to save the world one child at a time.