Teachers, Students Prepare For New Standards

Leana Pustam and Charlotte Rose

The state of Florida has been administering FCAT Writes since 2000, and last year they decided to change it to the Florida Standards Assessment, or FSA. The FSA is a test that freshmen, sophomores, and juniors have to take in the beginning of March. This year is the first year they are administering the FSA, so we are the “guinea pigs” as Susan Difederico said.

The FSA is going to be given to students on a computer, and they’ll have to type their responses. Students will be given 2-4 nonfiction passages, which can each be up to 2,000 words long, and will be expected to write about them.

Last Tuesday, some of the following teachers met in the library for a meeting about the FSA.

“This test is definitely going to be more challenging than the FCAT Writes,” said Sharon Lee, English teacher. “It’s more text-based, and the students will have to pull information from the text.”

“My juniors should be quite comfortable with taking this assessment,” said Janelle Peteranecz, a senior English teacher.

“They’re used to writing an analysis by pulling information. By their third year in school, they should be comfortable with using higher level critical thinking skills, and they’ve gotten good practice with things like SAT Online and grammar.” Peteranecz also noted that it takes about three years for teachers to get used to a new type of assessment.

Sophomore AP Euro teacher Timothy Falls said that in his class, they use a lot of DBQ strategies, so those strategies would be helpful for the FSA.

To do practice tests for the FSA, click here.