JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One test with everything riding on it; teacher evaluations, school grades and student success. Tuesday, the state Board of Education released the latest FCAT 2.0 results.
Here's where we stand: Statewide, four out of ten elementary and middle schoolers failed math and reading. Half failed science. The numbers weren't much different in Duval County. And education advocates say the scores are proof the test is bringing Florida down and the test needs to be canned.
Here's some news that might shock you. Nearly 36,000 third graders across the state are going to be held back this year because of their FCAT scores. That's according to Deborah Gianoulis with Save Duval Schools.
She says it is time to take a stand against this single test raising standards and lowering student success.
"They're bench-marked this that only 56 percent of the students in the state of Florida are going to be proficient in reading and math," said Duval County Schools Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals.
Those are the expectations of the new FCAT 2.0. And that is why education advocates across the state are fighting to do away with the test completely. But can we get rid of the FCAT? Action News took that question to Gianoulis.
"The option to get rid of the FCAT is already there. It's in three years, FCAT will go away because of what's called common course standards. We'll have national standards," she said.
But Gianoulis doesn't want to wait through three more years of kids struggling and schools failing. She says some school districts are already taking a bold stand.
"We are beginning to see some real push back in Florida by people who are advocates for children. Broward County's school board just passed a resolution saying it's time to get rid of the FCAT that they don't believe in it's effectiveness."
While the resolution isn't enough, she says it is sending a message to Florida's Board of Education. Pratt-Dannals agrees. Putting all the emphasis on one test isn't the key to success, not in Duval County and not statewide.
"We need to look at some of the other things in elementary and middle school we might need to add in order to get a more balanced view and put fewer eggs in that one basket," he said.
Gianoulis says for now, it is up to parents. They need to meet with their kids' teacher, principal and become engaged. She also recommends parents look into summer programs available to improve learning.