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Florida Lowers the Standards for Students

Recorded on May 17, 2012

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

Florida public schools have a problem. Two-thirds of the students failed their statewide writing tests. So the state lowered the passing grade after the fact so fewer students would flunk.

Those in 4th, 8th and 10th grade statewide are given the writing test. Last year 80% of them passed. This year only a third passed.

It must be our fault, decided the Florida Board of Education. Last year we didn't grade spelling or punctuation, so we were unfair when we graded those this year.

Don't their teachers teach spelling? Was it cruel to grade spelling this year?

The state teachers' union has not helped. They don't want these writing tests to be given at all.

Why not? Because it showed the teachers aren't doing their jobs?

Florida 's students aren't the only ones flunking. It sounds like the teachers and school board are also.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.