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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
Education

Practice tests for FCAT replacement released

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TAMPA – Those who are wondering what it will be like to take Florida’s new standardized tests now have the chance to see for themselves.

The state’s education department on Monday released much-anticipated practice tests for the new Florida Standards Assessments, which will replace the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test next school year.

The tests and other resources – including drafts of test summaries and policies for the math tests – are available at a new online portal that launched Monday.

In a memo sent to district superintendents Friday, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart said that the practice tests and other materials are meant to help students and teachers get accustomed to the computer-based testing environment.

“The purpose of these training tests is to become familiar with the system, functionality and item types,” Stewart wrote. “The tests are not intended to guide classroom instruction.”

The new tests, to be given to students next school year, are aligned to the new Florida Standards — a set of learning goals in language arts and math that are based on the Common Core State Standards adopted by most states and the District of Columbia.

The public can use a feedback feature on the test site through Sept. 5.

“I encourage you to have your district’s teachers and staff review the documents and provide input, as their feedback is highly valued,” Stewart wrote to the superintendents.

Hillsborough County school district officials were aware that the portal was launched Monday but they hadn’t reviewed the practice tests yet. They plan to look over the material and get feedback from principals and teachers, district spokesman Stephen Hegarty said.

“Everybody’s been curious to see what the new test looks like,” Hegarty said.

ekourkounis@tampatrib.com

(813)259-7999

Twitter: @ErinKTBO

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