Standardized tests have lost their way. They have become punitive in nature punishing schools, children and teachers alike. Kids fail grades, schools are closed and teachers are held responsible for things beyond their control. How is this good for education?
I understand the idea behind the FCAT as twisted and perverted as it has become and it wouldn’t take a lot to make it relevant and helpful again. If the FCAT was administered the first week of school, the schools could know what the kids needed to learn and then get them the help they needed, teach them the skills they lacked. Then if you wanted to see how the teacher did and if the kids were ready to move on give the test again the last week of school.
I believe even this way there would still be a lot of teaching to the test, which is handicapping our education system, but this is a much way to do things than the purely punitive system we have now.