Since 70 percent of 4th graders outright failed the state writing exam, the Florida Department of Education lowered expectations and lowered the passing grade. Their reasoning – and I’m not kidding – is students were confused because many probably did not know what a camel was.
Of course, when they completed a field test study with 1,500 students … there was no problem. From Fox News.
The Florida Department of Education lowered the performance level standard on a state writing exam after only 27 percent of fourth graders passed, MyFoxOrlando reports.
The decision to lower the standard from a four to a three was made in an emergency conference call Tuesday. The test scores range from zero to six.
Fourth grade teachers say the test inadequately reflected their pupils’ writing abilities. They say the main reason the students did poorly was the test question was too hard.
According to the Florida Department of Education, the prompt, or essay topic, for fourth graders in the state of Florida this year was, “Suppose you or someone else had a chance to ride a camel. Imagine what happens on this camel ride. Write a story about what happens on this camel ride.”
Since this was a writing exam, there should not have been a problem – or a grade reduction – if the 4th graders confused a camel with a horse or a bear. The grade reduction should have been directly related to their writing skills. To put it another way, this is a writing exam, not a zoology exam.