• Growing group of parents pulling kids from FCAT testing


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - There is a growing movement of parents who are refusing to send their children to school to take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests even though the standardized tests are required for graduation.
    Channel 9's Julie Salomone asked what kind of consequences students face if they don't take the FCAT tests.
    Margaret Jackowski said she remembered taking the FCAT several times when she was in school.
    "I'm dyslexic, so it was very struggling for me," said Jackowski.
    She has pulled her son from testing this week and said a child shouldn't be judged on just one test.
    "It matters more about what he's done throughout the whole year and not just one day on testing," said Jackowski.
    Jackowski isn't alone. Cindy Hamilton started a Facebook group called Opt Out Orlando. The online group is made up of parents who don't want their children to take the FCAT.
    "We have over 450 members, however, we are now are hearing from people all over the state of Florida," said Hamilton.
    The state said the test determines how a student is learning. Florida Department of Education officials told Salomone that current law doesn't allow students to formally opt out of the test since it is required, but they said if a student refuses to take it there are other ways they can prove they've mastered the necessary skills. Officials said one example would be for the student to create a portfolio, for example, they can make a portfolio that would include a representation of their work for the entire year.

    "I want him to be accountable for the whole year worth of work," said Jackowski.
    Parents who Salomone spoke with said the alternative is much better than just one test.

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