FCAT reading retake test to be given in digital format

Junior Clar Sturdivant logs into the Pearson website to practice the FCAT reading retake test online. (Photo: Breedlove)

The retakes for Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) in reading have been updated and will now be taken online.  This year, the change only applies to juniors retaking the reading assessment.

Most students are outraged by the idea of taking the tests online. The strategies they have been taught are useful for a test that is on paper. They have not been exposed to many online reading assignments.

“I do not like it. It is not fair. We’ve been taught to highlight and do marginal notes; we will lose our spot when reading because all we are doing is scrolling,” said junior Catelyn Howard.

English teacher Theresa Johns-Gordon’s class plans to write a letter to an FCAT administrator stating their strong disbelief in taking the FCAT online.

“They feel like they have been set up to fail,” said Johns-Gordon.

Even though the students are upset about the changes, they still have an incentive to do their best.

“They want to pass. They want to be able to take electives like everyone else,” English teacher Cindy Shear stated.

Taking the FCAT online is a way of helping the environment.

“The Department of Education is proactive in ‘Going Green’- that means there will be less paper consumption with each test window,” said LHS Test Assessment Specialist Catrina Ecklund.

Online FCAT retakes for juniors will be Oct. 10-21.

“I feel the new wave of online FCAT/EOC [End of Course] testing is a positive direction in incorporating more technology our school, our education and our lives,” said Ecklund.