As if the FCAT wasn’t already enough of a controversial issue, scores that are normally released before students break for summer have still not been received. However, as stated in an article from The Palm Beach Post, the latest estimate is that “scores won’t be released until the end of June”.
With student placement in advanced and remedial classes, teacher staffing and the uncertainty of knowing whether or not students will have to retake the exam all on the line, there is an understanding why so many students, teachers and parents are anxious. Those most concerned are the high school sophomores who are wondering if they passed the “high-stakes” test; since reading and math FCAT tests must be passed in order to receive a diploma.
This glitch in scores being delivered has given more fuel to the fire of those opposed to the FCAT.
Many parents, teachers and citizens of the Florida communities are fed up with the standardizing testing and the evaluation of a student to be based on such a “high-stakes” test.
But if the FCAT was to be removed, what would replace it?
What is the difference between the FCAT and the new system? The FCAT only tests students in a few subjects while all subjects in the new evaluation system would be required.
However, many question how school districts would create standardized testing for creative classes and if it is smart to put so much pressure on students and the education in Florida.
With elections right around the corner and many school board seats up for election, the issue of quality education and the use of standardized testing is a major issue and concern for parents, teachers and now candidates running for school board.
Are we truly educating the next generation if we are requiring our teachers to prepare students for ONE high-stakes test to judge their skill set and ability to move forward? And is it fair for a students gain in learning to be based strictly on a high-stakes test and the teacher be judged along with those scores? Is the governments answer to standardized testing really going to be more standardized testing?
Understandably, there is the need to make sure students are receiving adequate education. And if no form of standardized testing is used, it raises the question: How will schools be able to compare the education students are receiving with in school districts, counties, states and nationally? These along with other concerns are those of supporters of standardized testing.
However, maybe the resolution isn’t relying strictly on standardized testing or completely dismissing it. Maybe schools should use the testing as a guiding tool so when test scores are not being delivered on time, the schools and especially the students do not suffer the most.
Whatever the solution, I think it is safe to say the Florida school boards are going to spend a great deal of time looking to improve standardized testing and the influence it has on students, teachers and the structuring of schools.
Yesterday a YouTube video reached “viral” status showing North Carolina Congressman Bob Etheridge forcefully confronting two unidentified “college students” after the students asked whether Rep. Etheridge supported the Obama agenda.
According to Politico, DNC spokesperson Brad Woodhouse says, “Motives matter, and I think you can see who was behind this,” alluding to the suspicion that the Republican Party was the behind the tracking operation. Nevertheless, both political parties are guilty of the “gotcha” game.
Remember when a liberal tracker caught former Congressman George Allen saying “macaca” at an event that lead to his defeat in Virginia. Unfortunately, this is the norm in today’s politics. Many critics inquire as to why the faces of the two college students are blurred; well I would blur my face too. We all remember what happen to Joe the Plumber after his infamous question to then-candidate Obama on the campaign trail. His finances and records were made public as well as other private details.
Politics is and continues to be a nasty game. The moral of the story is…in the day and age of real-time internet, when you encounter someone holding a camera you better smile and be on your best behavior or avoiding the camera. Moreover, politicians must understand the power of the internet to propel their careers or end them.
In today’s anti-incumbent political environment, this sort of slip-up by Congressman Etheridge could cost him his election. Some pundits say Etheridge is too strong of politician with a sizeable war chest and will weather this storm. Of course, pundits also said that George Allen would survive his storm, but he did not. Do you think that Rep. Etheridge can survive?
A recent article in the Capitol Hill publication, The Hill, examines the spill over of the BP oil crisis into the Florida Senate race. Like in most crisis situations, everyone is quick to judge the response, or lack there of, by those willing to make some sort of effort to fix the problem. It seems the closer the oil gets to the Florida coast, the greater the tension rises not only nationally but locally. As White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel so eloquently said, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”
The major controversy between Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Republican candidate Marco Rubio is not an immediate fix to the problem on both accounts. Speculation as to the long-term effects the spill will have on ballot issues seems to be more of an issue for Crist while immediate concern for Rubio is stopping the oil leak.
However, what is relevant this minute may not be relevant to voters come November. Is it worth it for the politicians and lawmakers to spend all this crucial time debating and fighting tooth and nail to get an “off shore drilling ban” amendment on the ballot when drilling off the Florida coast is already prohibited? As one article from the Orlando Sentinel investigated, if BP had taken a more secure and tedious process to finalize the rig, this whole debacle could possibly have been prevented. Only costing approximately $1 million a day according to many estimates.
While on some accounts it is easy to understand why a cost of close to $1 million a day would be easy to veto, how much was it really worth?
Living in America the free market is arguably what helps so many people prosper in the land of the free. In times like this it may be nice if there was governmental regulation. Especially since many could argue there is already government regulation on everything anyways, shouldn’t there have been governmental checks all the way through the rig building process?
Through indirect wording by both politicians and BP executives, it is assumed the rig was not “properly” finished. While BP holds the responsibility of the safety of its employees in its hands, it also holds an obligation to the safety of Americans; along with a civil responsibility to the environment.
BP took the “short cut” to surpass the millions of the dollars for the more secure “finish”. However, how much did they really end up saving?
So is the issue in Florida banning oil drilling or is it government regulation on oil drilling?
It is during a crisis like this when many different approaches can be taken to look at the need for more or less government regulation and more initiative by companies to stop being so concerned with dollar signs and more concerned with the environment.
Steps have been taken to try to solve the oil spill. However, it is still too soon on most accounts to begin to feel some sort of relief. And until the feeling of assurance and satisfaction comes across members of the Gulf communities, it may be a safe assumption the issue of oil drilling on the Florida coast could be on the ballot in some form come November.