Education chief supports pushing back science FCAT
By Associated Press
Published October 8, 2004
ORLANDO - The state's top education official supports giving high school students another year to prepare for the science section of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, a move requested by teachers.
Florida Department of Education officials asked lawmakers Wednesday to support giving the test to 11th- instead of 10th-graders, perhaps as early as next spring, Education Commissioner John Winn said.
The department changed its position after hearing from science teachers and noticing that 10th-grade scores on this portion of the FCAT have been "lower than expected," Winn said.
The science exam was first given to Florida students in 2003. It covers a broad range of topics, including some touched on but not always covered in depth by 10th grade.
Current state law requires students in fifth, eighth and 10th grades to take the science exam. The FCAT is given in February and March.
So far, the science exam has been given only to gather data, and that will be the case again this spring. But starting in the 2006-07 school year, scores on the science test will count toward the annual grades the state gives public schools.