Showing posts from December, 2008

FCAT - The New 'F' Word

I recently had a conference at my son's high school to go over his IEP and find out why he's failing. I asked why only one of his teachers had called me - the week before grades went in - to tell me he was going to fail if he didn't pass the exam. Out of seven teachers, four of whom knew he had a 'D' or 'F', I got only one call and that one was too late in coming.

After expressing my displeasure, you know what I was told? "In all fairness to them, they have a lot on them this year because of the FCAT."


For those of you unfamiliar with the FCAT, allow me to explain. The FCAT is the year end student assessment test. It is supposed to measure student success in meeting educational goals throughout the year. Under the Jeb Bush administration, it was implemented to replace the California Achievement Test and has been used ever since.

Theoretically a more thorough assessment instrument, implementation of the FCAT has done more to ruin the education sy…

In the Midst of Madness

Finding time to write is something every author deals with. Some of us have more time to devote to it than others, but still find that life intrudes. I just spent the month of November taking the National November Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge. While it's invigorating to test my writing abilities, it also tests my patience.

For those of you who have never heard of NaNoWriMo, I'll explain. The participants make the personal commitment to write a 50,000 word novel beginning November 1st and ending November 30th at midnight. There are no money prizes, no one reads the novel but you, it doesn't even have to be perfect, it just has to be done. For this, you get a caffeine addiction, sleep deprivation, frazzled nerves, numb fingers, a nifty little logo to put on your web site, a printable certificate and the satisfaction of knowing that despite everything, you persevered!

It's amazing how quickly life intrudes when I set a goal like this for myself. Everyone in the house…