Sophomores recieve privileges for FCAT writes scores

Colorful blue and yellow posters dot the walls and doors of English classrooms. They entice sophomores and disgust juniors. These are the posters revealing prizes for reaching a target FCAT writing score.

In the 2013-2014 school year, the district FCAT writes scores dropped substantially. This urged the school to offer an incentives package to help raise scores and continue a tradition of testing excellence.

“It [writing] has become a focal point for the entire school district moving forward,” assistant principal Barry Coleman said. “One of the things we have come up with as a school is to develop this incentive package, to hopefully encourage students to do the very best they can on the writing exam.”

Any sophomore who earns a five or experiences a two level increase in their writing score is put into a drawing for either a half price parking pass, a free homecoming ticket, a half price yearbook, or a half price all-sports pass. And even if they do not win any drawings, everyone gets a catered breakfast and complimentary goody bag.

Sophomores earning a six on their writing FCAT get their choice of a free parking pass, two free homecoming tickets, a free yearbook, or a free all-sports pass. The choice is guaranteed, unlike the five earners. Moreover, all sixes get a catered group lunch.

As a class, if the sophomores reach a 77 percent pass rate, they receive an extra junior privilege day for the 2014-2015 school year.

For current juniors however, they do not have the ability to earn compensation if they earned a five, six, or had a two level increase in their score last school year.

“I understand that there might be some people that might be a little upset that they didn’t get this opportunity but the fact of the matter is that we didn’t have an incentive package in place last year.” Mr. Coleman said. “The primary reason that we have that now is because of the drop we experienced.  Prior to that we didn’t have that drop so there really wasn’t a pressing need.”

Although, according to the state this is the last year of FCAT testing, the school board hopes to continue offering rewards in return for good testing.