Florida lowers bar for 4th grade state writing exam

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.

5 replies
  1. zedgar2
    zedgar2 says:

    Wouldn’t have been a problem if the government hadn’t stopped the Joe Camel cigarette advertisements.

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Hmmm.? The “soft bigotry of lowered expectations”, as stated by George W. Bush in “Renewing America’s Purpose: The policy addresses of George W. Bush, July 1999 – July 2000”,
    http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/mark.wattier/Purpose.pdf
    ?
    “Some say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to rigorous
    standards. I say it is discrimination to require anything less ?
    the soft bigotry of low expectations. Some say that schools can?t be
    expected to teach, because there are too many broken families, too
    many immigrants, too much diversity. I say that pigment and
    poverty need not determine performance. That myth is disproved
    by good schools every day. Excuse-making must end before learning
    can begin.”
    ?
    Telling students they “can’t do it” and need a “waiver” from the government is simply raising good little apparatchiks for the government.? Giving them the mindset of dependency, if you will.

  3. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Note to self – Don’t?move to Florida to retire.? There will be no one there smart enough to take care of you.

    ????????????

  4. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Imagine that.? Dept of Ed folks with Masters and Phd’s in education that throw all of their own potential away and settle for being babysitters – and bad ones at that!

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