Alexis Writing has many years of freelance writing experience. She has written for a variety of online destinations, including Peternity.com. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from the University of Rochester.
By Alexis Writing, eHow Contributor
Learn about the pros and cons of the FCAT.
The idea of standardized testing to gauge general knowledge and understanding in grade school students is not new. With the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, which gives states federal funding incentives and punishments if students fail to meet an arbitrary baseline established by the federal government, most all states have complied in order to receive their funding by creating comprehensive standardized assessments which are given throughout a youngster's school career. The FCAT, or Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, is used in Florida for this purpose. There are pros and cons to the use of these comprehensive tests.
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Pro: Ensures General Knowledge
o One benefit of the FCAT is the fact that, in order to have some success in college, trade school, or later life, students must possess some standardized knowledge of subjects like math, reading, comprehension, and the like. The FCAT is linked directly to the Sunshine State Standards for what knowledge is required for these students, and as such it is a fairly accurate measurement of what students have learned and a fairly accurate predictor of weak areas and how they may be expected to fare in college.
Con: Teaching to the Test
o As with all standardized testing, there are those who feel that because of the requirements set forth for these tests, that school districts have significantly decreased non-test-related instruction time in order to do what is called "teaching to the test." This narrowing effect means that students may not have as broad or well-balanced of an education as they had...