Letters to the Editor

Standardized tests not standard for college
Re: “FCAT-like tests heavily criticized by campus leaders” Jan. 26

Before the powers that be have the chance, the USF community must stand up collectively and say “No” to the college FCAT. It will affect students, staff and faculty alike.

While the FCAT has failed in high school, standardization has failed nation-wide. It only creates cycles of economic and educational poverty.

Low-income schools usually don’t score as high on the FCAT (and other standardized tests) as other schools — and for a variety of important reasons.

Low scores lead to less money, which then leads to low scores once again.

It’s the opposite for wealthier schools. Soon all test scores rise to some degree, as the teachers begin to teach the test more and more, diminishing the quality of education.

This now stands to happen at the college level. It will hinder teachers’ academic freedom, be an unnecessary stress to students and be used as a tool to lower our already low budgets (remember the classes in the movie theater?)

College is about specialization, not standardization. It’s like trying to fit a square block in a circle hole — it just doesn’t work.

In upcoming weeks, the Alliance of Concerned Students will be passing out information campuswide, as well as setting up a petition. In addition, we will be mobilizing students and faculty state wide to prepare for a statewide university strike should the FCAT be introduced against our will.

Please see http://ctr.usf.edu/alliance/nofcat for updates and more information.

Anthony Schmidt is a junior majoring in anthropology.