FL to Make FCAT Public

K-12 Testing

State education officials announced in June that complete versions of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) for fourth-, eighth- and 10th-graders will be made available to the public by year’s end.


Floridians have been trying various approaches to obtain the right to see what’s actually on their children’s tests since the FCAT began in 1999. Previously, neither legislative efforts nor lawsuits have succeeded (Examiner, Winter-Spring, 2003). Recently, parents of a blind student demanded unsuccessfully to see the test, charging that test questions often assume the test-taker can see, creating bias against blind students even if the test is in Braille.


The decision does not enable Florida parents to access their own children’s tests, as is now the case in Washington state (see story, p. 2). Nor did Florida commit to releasing the tests in future years.


States that do release tests annually, such as Massachusetts, do not necessarily allow either parents or teachers to see individual test booklets. Test-takers are able to obtain their own university admissions tests, following a New York law (Examiner, Fall 1996).


FairTest believes whole tests should be made publicly available after the tests are administered, and parents, teachers and students should be able to review scored copies of individual exams.