FCAT writing SNAFU–there’s another shoe somewhere

I don’t have much to say about the FCAT writing SNAFU that’s followed the release of dramatically lower scores in this year’s exercises. Testing in general is a technical subject where sudden changes should prompt caution about drawing conclusions other than “Hmmn, that warrants some close examination.” Moreso with the type of “holistic” (i.e., one-dimensional) scoring that happens in FCAT writing and the attempt of the Florida Board of Education to “raise standards” in a period when the logistics of scoring the writing samples changed back and forth from two scorers with half-point options to one scorer and back to two scorers.

However, when several members of the Florida Board of Education contact reporters with identical¬†responses to requests for comment, you’ve got a copycat/sock-puppet problem more than you have a test-scoring or -performance problem.

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