However, in contrast to others, I do not agree with the assessment methods of the FCAT. The FCAT is the statewide educational assessment for the state of Florida and is intended to measure a student's prior and current knowledge of given subject matter.
The student is assessed in the areas of reading, writing, science and mathematics. It is stated that if a student attends school regularly, has in-school and home-based encouragement, eats a well-balanced diet, and completes given class and home learning assignments, he or she will have a better chance at passing this statewide test. Special emphasis must to be placed, in this case, on the importance of diet, because it is an aspect of a child's welfare that is often ignored in discussing education. It is paramount, for any child, to eat properly in order to allow one's brain and body to be attentive and alert during school. This is a statement that, whole true for some children, may not be true for all. The reason I say this is because while diet is important, not all children can afford to have proper nutrition, based on some circumstance, or another, and thus, because each child's circumstance is different, he or she should not be assessed simply based on the FCAT alone.
I think that this test places an extreme amount of pressure on the student, as well as the teacher. Students worry so much about their test results and what that could mean for future prospects, that all of the proper lesson material is not learned or learned quickly and forgotten. This means that more leisure-based classes like physical education, music, and art suffer because their programs are relatively unimportant compared to the subjects tested on the FCAT.
Teachers find exams to be just as stressful because trends in their students' performance are linked back, and therefore competition amongst teachers is at its peak during this time. Instead of trying to be an influential individual in a student's life, as teachers ought to be, they are relegated to a role of instructors who practice rote memorization and defer all student interaction problems to school counselors.
The teachers are also evaluated depending on how well their students excel, regardless of the dozens of variables that can go into a particular classroom's performance. I find this approach to be unmerited. When one thinks about social justice in the area of education one must think of equal opportunities for all children to excel. Personally, I just do not see this happening with the FCAT requirements, as I do not