FCAT Reform Lightens Mood

TAMPA -

Florida legislators wrapped up their session last week after trimming several billion dollars from the state's budget.

While millions were cut from education, a change for Florida's Comprehensive Assessment Test passed legislators' tests with flying colors.

Democratic Representative Dan Gelber says in the new $66 billion state budget, there's 'little happiness, very little good, very little gain.' But at least one bill left him smiling.

'It's the first real reform of the FCAT system since it was implemented,' he says. 'And [I] think we need more of that. But I think that is something that my constituents will be heartened by, even though I think a lot more needs to be done.'

The bill reduces schools' focus on the statewide test by pushing test dates to later in the year and letting teachers spend more time on material other than basic reading, writing, math and science from the exam.

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