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.