In Florida, controversy continues over whether state Board of Education acted appropriately by lowering the requirements for a passing score on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test as a way to cope with embarrassingly low student scores, the New York Times reports. Critics of the FCAT say that it reveals flaws that emanate from a test-oriented educational atmosphere that cannot be erased by lowering passing requirements. They point to the case of Rick Roach, a 63 year old educator who last year took the FCAT administered to 10th graders and who made his results public. Roach, who has two master’s degrees and serves on the Orange County school board, scored 62 percent on the reading section of the FCAT and 17 percent on math.

“It seems to me something is seriously wrong,” he said at the time, in The Washington Post. “If I’d been required to take those two tests when I was a 10th grader, my life would almost certainly have been very different. I’d have been told I wasn’t ‘college material,’ would probably have believed it, and looked for work appropriate for the level of ability that the test said I had.”

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staff and wire services reports