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Jeb defends FCAT and A+ plan

Responding to his week's revelations by the Department of Education that there were problems with the 2006 FCAT scores, former Gov. Jeb Bush is using his own website to defend the high-stakes test and his A+ reforms that he put in place in 1999.

Bush, who set up the Foundation for Florida's Future to promote his education reforms, says in his message that a "one year problem" is not a reason to junk the accountability measures included in the A+ plan. The A+ plan uses scores from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test to reward high-performing schools and sanction low-performing ones.

"The question before Floridians today is, do we want to go back to the way it was before accountability? Bush asks.

Bush continues that "Florida is now headed in the right direction" and that "success requires continual reform."


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TampaBay Democrat

Harcourt Assessment Inc. of San Antonio, Texas, which administers and grades the FCAT under a state contract stands by "the validity and reliability of the FCAT," company spokesman Russell Schweiss said in an e-mail.
[Same Russell Schweiss who served as Senior Press Secretary when Jeb Bush was governor.]

Diane Hanfmann

Few educational changes could make me happier than scrapping the self-proclaimed A++
plan. This unfair and inaccurate system should be replaced by value-added assessment.
I can only wonder why policymakers chose to
reward high proficiency/low growth schools while sanctioning low proficiency/high growth schools. I cannot fathom that they had been una ware of the correlation between socio-
economic status and achievement levels.
The gifted have been ill served by Governor Bush. He chose to turn his back on them while
"leaving no child behind." It is a distorted method of closing an achievement gap by pushing down the ceiling!

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