Florida Matters: Choosing the Next FCAT
Florida Education Commissioner Pam Stewart is expected to recommend a test to (mostly) replace the FCAT later this month.
A new test is needed because Florida is finishing the switch to new K-12 math, language arts and literacy standards this fall. The standards are largely based on Common Core standards fully adopted by 44 other states and the District of Columbia.
There's also big money riding on the contract. Pearson currently holds a five-year, $249 million contract to administer the FCAT. The new test is expected to cost about as much per student as the FCAT.
Five companies -- ACT Aspire, American Institutes for Research, CTB/McGraw-Hill, McCann Associates and Pearson -- bid to become the next FCAT. A state panel has recommended AIR, but the decision is Stewart's.
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Carson Cooper is a familiar voice. He has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the local host of NPR's "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for more than two decades. He has been the host of WUSF 89.7's Florida Matters since its launch in 2006. During that time he has reported on a variety of issues of importance to the community, including growth management, education, transportation, affordable housing, taxation, public health and the environment.
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