Florida teachers had no examples of what student writing should look like last year. FCAT 2.0 Writes

Image from GrayFish 4th Grade Blog

For those that followed the Florida Writes 2.0 in the news…writing scores were so alarming that the state had to readjust their level guidelines to give more higher scores. The questions were raised of where blamed laid…

Did the teachers teach quality? Was there a state error?

Well…I just found this and it makes sense.   It’s just a learning curve.

As far as on the state website…it appears Florida teachers had no examples of what the new higher level writing criteria looked like…so how could they align their teaching/learning/assessments to match the new assessment criteria?  Remember…the standards did not change.

I have been working through all the NGSSS standards and, I feel, some are quite general. (I love how the CCSS has more clarity and examples embedded in).

I wonder what student scores would have been if teachers had the opportunity to review and share samples of student work across the 6 point scale.  They could have compared and contrasted writing based on the old criteria and then on the new.  Since the standards remained the same…the key probably came down to student depth of knowledge and emphasis on different standards…for example, more weighting on conventions versus imagery.

I believe students and teachers could have nailed the FCAT Writes 2.0! But it’s hard to master a level of achievement if a ‘student’ doesn’t know what the reach is. I’d like to see the alignment of student writing turned in this past year against the older criteria. I wonder what the scores would be based on what the teachers had experience with. Interesting…

This year, I plan to critically assess student samples of writing with state examples and teach the ability to my students.  I want no surprizes on the FCAT Writes for students…unless they have a bad day.  Even then, I want my students to have a strong sense of what they submitted.

For assessment creators…before we give assessments…we should have clear examples of what quality and our criteria look like not just the standards and learning objectives.  We need to know the depth and application – is it good enough to know or will the assessment call for applying.  Will it be a ‘list’, ‘know’ or USE (I see that a lot in CCSS).

Then we should ensure that our ‘students’ have a clear understanding of what they are learning, how they will be assessed (and why) and what quality work looks like and does not look like 🙂

I have been swirling this around in my head…especially when it comes to how I will grade…how my assessments will show student understanding and mastery of the NGSSS and CCSS.

Hmmm….isn’t it summer?



1 thought on “Florida teachers had no examples of what student writing should look like last year. FCAT 2.0 Writes”

  1. You are SO right. Florida is horrible about changing and not giving teachers time, materials, or funding to implement the changes. BRAVO!

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