• Common Core replacing FCAT, aims to help students compete globally


    CENTRAL FLORIDA - As the new school year gets underway, parents are going to hear a lot about the new Common Core teaching model.

    A Common Core assessment will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, next year.

    The goal is to help all students across the country compete globally.

    Dorina Sackman is an eighh-grade language arts ESOL teacher at Westridge Middle School who was voted Florida Teacher of the Year.

    Sackman is excited about the new way material is taught.

    "Their thought process on learning is, 'Teach me that, let me take a test on it, and move to the next grade,' Common core doesn't do that," Sackman said.

    Sackman said Common Core asks students why they feel they need to learn and what are they learning.

    Common Core also focuses on blending subjects together the same way students will need to in the real world.

    "I'm going to give you fewer topics that we can dive into and get into the meat and potatoes," Sackman said.

    Sackman said Common Core is not about teaching to a test, it's about getting students to think for themselves.

    "They say, 'Yeah, I taught myself all of this,'" Sackman said.

    The unknown variable is how the new more rigorous test will impact Florida's school grades.

    While schools are starting to teach with Common Core principals this year the testing doesn't officially roll out until next year.

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