FCATs: Are Your Kids Feeling the Pressure?

Campuses throughout the Tampa Bay area and beyond are “quiet zones” today as the annual FCAT gets under way. Are your kids feeling the pressure?

Every day, people in 19 Tampa Bay communities talk to one another through Patch, exploring local, state and national issues through the lens of their town, county or neighborhood. But some issues are big enough that we all can benefit from a broader discussion that includes a vast range of perspectives. With Patch, we have the opportunity to share ideas from Bloomingdale to Westchase, from Sarasota to New Port Richey. And maybe if people in these communities talk more often, we can understand the issues, and one another, better.

One issue that's been getting attention in many communities is the start of today’s Florida Comprehensive Assessment Testing. With students in grades three through 10 pulling out their No. 2 pencils today, we’re hearing reports of youngsters cracking under the pressure. Some parents are reporting children who cried themselves to sleep last night. Others are saying their children are taking everything with a grain of salt.

We’d like to know what you think about the FCATs. The tests start today and wrap up statewide April 27, according to the Florida Department of Education website.

How are your kids holding up under the pressure? Does the state or your child’s school put too much weight on the scores? Is there are better way to assess youngsters and their teachers?

Let us know how it’s going in your neck of the Tampa Bay area by commenting below.

karen rodriguez April 16, 2012 at 05:16 PM
my daughter's first experience with FCAT this year. she has enough test anxiety without adding to it. we'll see.
Sherri Lonon April 16, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I hope she has a good day and week, Karen! Anyone else out there dealing with first-time jitters?
John Majeski April 16, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Dawn, glad to see they're not over-thinking it in New Tampa!
Terri Dusek April 17, 2012 at 07:40 PM
I have two boys ages 16 & 18 and fortunately they have never had issues with testing. I have always told them what Dawn says, "no worries, just do it." However, I do not agree with how the kids entire schedule is interrupted over a test. Even their lunch schedules are changed. I believe if the week continued as normal (or at least close to normal) the kids would be more relaxed and therefore perform better.
Sherri Lonon April 17, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Very good points, Terri! I'm hearing a report of a testing fiasco at a local middle school (one class was put in more sessions than they should be been). Anyone hearing of FCAT testing troubles out there?


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