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Student sweat out FCAT weeks

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By Claude Lewis

Parents, be extra nice to your kids this week and next. Buy them an ice cream or their favorite candy bar. Little Johnny or Mary is apt to be feeling the pressure of relentless FCAT testing.

Yes, the much ballyhooed Florida Comprehesive Assessment Test is being given statewide to students in grades 3-11.

The annual tests, which mirror the Sunshine State Stardards, gauge how students measure up against others from across the state in three critical areas –language arts, mathematics and science.

Reading and mathematics tests are given to grades 3-10. Writing is given to grades 4, 8 and 10. Science is given to grades 5, 8 and 11.

Schools put a lot of emphasis on the FCATs, as students are prepared for the tests since week one of school in August.

While looking at individual scores is a big part of FCAT, there are bigger things at stake for schools. Test scores are compiled and calculated to give a picture of how each school fares as a whole. These scores are compared to other schools in the district.

And then the districts can see how they stack up against other districts across the state.


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