What’s The Score??
“The lack of performance by the state’s new testing contractor, NCS Pearson, is absolutely unacceptable, and the delays we have encountered in the reporting of this year’s FCAT results are not indicative of the smooth, expertly-managed experience they promised as a part of the contract procurement process,” stated State Education Commissioner, Dr. Eric Smith.
“I would like to extend my most sincere apologies to our parents who rely on the timely reporting of this information to determine the appropriate educational services for their child. I would also like to apologize to our educators and school administrators who need this information to ensure every student is receiving the kind of support and assistance they need to be successful. Please be assured that the Department’s focus remains on the integrity and accuracy of the students’ scores that are issued, and although delayed, these results will uphold the same level of quality and reliability that our stakeholders rely upon,” Smith continued.
“I am both outraged and frustrated by the situation Pearson has caused and I do not intend to allow these inexcusable delays to go unanswered. In addition to demanding that Pearson ensure all future test administrations are absent of the technology issues we have experienced this year, I also intend to impose a significant financial penalties as a result of their failure to meet contract deadlines. I truly appreciate the overwhelming amount of patience that has been shown throughout our communities as we continue to work with Pearson around-the-clock to release these scores as soon as possible.”
This terse, critical statement is representative of the level of dismay felt by educators across the State of Florida, as they all await the results of these important tests. Things are no different among the staff of our Jackson County School System.
“It is very frustrating for us all,” stated Superintendent of Schools, Lee Miller, “The results of the FCAT scoring plays a key role in our planning for next year’s school term. We identify weaknesses in our various programs, and help each school staff increase their emphasis in those areas during the next term. We normally accomplish that planning task during June, and then the staff enjoys most of July and the first part of August as their summer break. This year it appears we will be holding those planning sessions in July instead of June.”
Miller stated that normally the scores are announced before the school term ends. This year it appears the scores will be announced in July, some 6 – 8 weeks later than normal. Reportedly the testing contractor is having trouble with the scoring software.
“I only hope that the results we get will be accurate,” emphasized Miller, “The results mean a lot to us all.”