Central Florida School Boards Call For External Audit of FCAT 2.0

The Central Florida Public School Board Coalition, which is comprised of Brevard County Public Schools, Hillsborough County Schools, Lake County Schools, School Board of Manatee County, Marion County Public Schools, Orange County Public Schools, The School District of Osceola County, The School Board of Polk County, Seminole County Public Schools, and Volusia County Schools, has sent the Florida Department of Education and the State Board of Education a letter calling for an external audit of the FCAT before any new State Board of Education Rule is made.

The letter dated May 15, 2012 follows:

Commissioner Gerard Robinson
Florida Department of Education
Office of the Commissioner
Turlington Building, Ste. 1514
Tallahassee FL 32399

Chairman Kathleen Shanahan
State Board of Education
325 W. Gaines Street, Ste. 1520
Tallahassee FL 32399

Dear Commissioner Robinson and Chairman Shanahan,

The release of the percent of students statewide scoring proficient on the FCAT 2.0 Writing Exam has raised serious and important questions about the validity of these scores and the impact of these scores on Florida’s accountability system. Because of the impact these scores have on school grades and associated school functions, the Central Florida Public School Boards Coalition recommends a thorough external audit of these results. Any attempt to create a State Board of Education Rule prior to this external audit is premature. An external audit would be consistent with Florida’s prior actions when similar concerns with state assessment results have been identified and would ensure that all stakeholders maintain confidence in the accountability system. The proposed text of the State Board of Education Rule does not remove the dramatic impact these scores have on school grades and may be considered an arbitrary solution. This type of solution would not be appropriate considering the broad impact these scores have on associated school functions and the critical risk of losing confidence in the validity and reliability of Florida’s accountability system.

Sincerely,

Susan L. Valdes, Chair

cc: Central Florida Public School Boards Coalition
State Board of Education

RELATED ARTICLES: 9th and 10th Grade 2012 FCAT Reading Scores Released