Backtracking on Florida Exams Flunked by Many, Even an Educator

SANFORD, Fla. — Bill Vogel, the superintendent of schools in this suburb of Orlando, has always been vigilant about preparing his district for the state tests.

All students take practice tests in math, reading and writing in September and December. Heather Flay’s fourth graders at Crystal Lake Elementary keep folders with their test results so they can chart which scores need improving.
“We have them show their folders to their parents,” Ms. Flay said. “They’ll say, ‘This is what my scores were in third grade, this is where I was in September and this is what I’m shooting for. ” 

Terri Ganey, an English teacher here at Seminole High, spends several days having her students analyze the Florida Department of Education’s samples of graded essays so they understand what it takes to earn a top score of 6 — or a 5 or 4. “We dissect the state’s scoring rubric, level by level,” Ms. Ganey said. “We even look at the lowest levels, so they see this is why it was a 1 or 2, what was missing.” 

The extensive test preparation has paid off. In 2011, among the state’s 67 districts, Seminole (which serves 64,000 students, half of whom qualify for federally subsidized lunches) ranked third in math, fourth in reading and sixth in writing.

Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/11/education/florida-backtracks-on-standardized-state-tests.html?_r=1&hpw


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