FCAT has some parents pulling children from schools



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Fallout is continuing to grow over this year's controversial Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results.

This year the majority of students in Florida failed the writing portion of the test due to stricter standards. As a result, some parents are now deciding to take their kids out of public schools.

After two years in a traditional school, 7-year-old Katlyn Carlson won't be going back.

Katlyn's mother, Karyn Carlson, who has worked in education for 22 years, said the big reason is the FCAT.

"I want her to have no part of it," said Karyn Carlson.

So she has decided to turn to alternatives, like private home school education.

On Friday she searched for providers at the Homeschool Expo at the Gaylord Palms Resort.

"I want my child to have the whole picture, and not just the specific areas she is tested on," said Carlson.

FCAT is not required under state home-school law.

A spokesperson from the Florida Parent-Educators Association (FPEA) told WFTV, that's one of the reasons parents are seeking alternatives

"The FCAT, you have to remember they spend the whole year focused on that test, on that test where if you don't spend the whole year on that test, you can be focused on learning," said Connie Albers of the FPEA.

Salgado said she wants that for her third-grader, who has special learning needs.

"I feel like she was just filling a seat there and not getting the attention that she needed," said Salgado.

The 18,000 attendees at the Homeschool Convention are just a small portion of families who educate their children at home.

The Florida Department of Education says there are 48,000 families in the state who home-school their children.