A New Year: Who loses?

This is a copy of the email sent to us, that kids will be pulled out of special areas (P.E., music, art, etc.) to be coached for FCAT, our wonderful state assessment test. Instructional time is focused all year on this test.  I would like to know how much real instructional time we use to review for this test all year long, how much money per student this test costs and who makes and assesses this test, and how much they make per student? If you know let me know.

Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 4:28 PM
Cc: EMT-4; EMT-5

Special Area Teachers,
25 to 30 children per 4th and 5th grades may or may not be in attendance at their regularly scheduled special area on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays each week until FCAT. Selected students are being tutored by leadership team and may not be penalized if their parents select tutoring instead of specials.* See attached letter.
Should parents not sign and return the attached letter, children will be in attendance in special area classes.

Elementary School
Orlando, FL


Read between the lines: Your child is not going to get a high enough score to be promoted. We are going to try and fix this in about 3 weeks, with 3 extra tutorial classes. Free of charge, except your child may miss other classes, we don’t feel help his FCAT scores. And all of his teachers and classmates will know it, by his/her absence.


*How could I penalize someone who doesn’t show up at all? Why would I bother to give them a grade, period?


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