State Journal

Qualifications Questioned

Fla. lawmakers may sue to get more information on temporary test-graders.

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints

Two senators in the Sunshine State may sue the Florida education department if it doesn’t release the names and qualifications of $10-an-hour temporary workers who grade the state’s high-stakes tests.

Sen. Lesley “Les” Miller Jr. and Sen. Walter G. “Skip” Campbell Jr., both Democrats, gave the department until 5 p.m. on April 22 to give the information about the temporary workers who score portions of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT. If the department refused, the two were “prepared to seek all legal remedies as provided by law,” according to an April 18 letter from the lawmakers.

The letter was the latest salvo in an escalating fight between the state lawmakers, who question the competence and fairness of the temporary workers, and the education department and the company that administers the test, CTB/McGraw-Hill. CTB is a subsidiary of the McGraw-Hill Cos., based in New York City, and subcontracts with Troy, Mich.-based Kelly Services Inc. to score the FCAT.

Florida has an $86.5 million, three-year contract with CTB to administer the FCAT. About 1.7 million Florida students each year take the tests, which are used to grade schools’ performance and to determine whether students are promoted to the next grade.


Both the Florida education department and CTB officials say that the information being requested by the senators is a “trade secret” and thus exempt from disclosure under the Florida Public Records Act. “Further, releasing the names to the public would subject scorers to potential intimidation and attempts to influence their work,” a CTB lawyer wrote to the department in an April 6 letter.

Florida has used temporary workers to score the FCAT for 10 years, Cathy Schroeder, an education department spokeswoman, said last week. “Nothing has changed,” she said, “but the picture has been painted that just because they’re temporary workers, they’re unprofessional, which is not true.”

All temporary workers who grade the FCAT must have a bachelor’s degree, and more than half are former educators, she said.

Ms. Schroeder said the department would not supply the information the lawmakers requested.

That’s not good enough, Sen. Miller says. He says test-graders should have a bachelor’s degree in education or experience in teaching. “You have to realize that this test is the ultimate determining factor in a child’s academic career,” he said.

Vol. 25, Issue 33, Page 30

Published in Print: April 26, 2006, as Qualifications Questioned
Related Stories

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Vocabulary Development for Striving Readers

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >