From Bay News 9
TAMPA -- The FCAT is back starting Monday as Florida students begin taking the statewide assessment test.
Bay area school districts will begin testing this week in reading, writing, math and science.
Various grade levels in Manatee, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties are also participating. Students in grades 3-10 will be testing in reading, while grades 3-8 will face math tests. ALso, grades 5 and 8 will have science exams. The testing will go on from Monday through May 7.
At stake are school, teacher and district grades, and whether students will graduate or move on to the next grade level.
This is the last year Florida students will take the FCAT. State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart approved a six-year, $220 million contract in March with the not-for-profit American Institutes for Research to develop a new test that students will be required to take next year.
The new tests will include more than the multiple-choice questions that are a framework for many standardized tests, including the FCAT. The commissioner also said students will initially use paper and pencil to complete the new tests, but schools will gradually transition to online tests.