Nearly half of Florida high school students failed the reading portion of the state's new toughened standardized test, education officials said on Friday.
Results this year from the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test showed 52 percent of freshman students and 50 percent of sophomores scored at their grade levels.
The results came days after the Florida State Board of Education voted to lower the standards needed to pass the writing part of the test, known as FCAT.
The board took the action in an emergency meeting when preliminary results indicated only about one-third of Florida students would have passed this year.
"We are asking more from our students and teachers than we ever have, and I am proud of their hard work," Florida Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson said in a statement.
Does the Education Commissioner know that 50% is a failing grade? Does he know that these are children who, unless they have fabulous parents who tutor their children at home to relearn the material, are doomed to be trapped for a lifetime in illiteracy and poverty? Does he care?
Public school and any bureaucracy's fatal flaw is the lack of accountability. Homeschooling is the opposite, parents are completely responsible for their children's education, there is no passing the blame if a child does not master the times tables or learn to read. I am very proud that my children not only know how to read, they love to read and they do it fast. Mary's best friend was amazed that Will and Mary had each read The Hunger Games in one day, "That would take me at least 2 weeks!" Not only that, but they begged and pleaded and then demanded that I get the next two books in the series. Only after I read the book did I understand their anticipation. It might be dicey as to who gets first dibs, but since I have to drive the car home, my bet is that Mary will get hold of it first.