Governor Rick Scott supports lowered FCAT standard

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Governor Rick Scott told NewsChannel 5 Tuesday, during an exclusive interview, that he agreed with the state education board's decision to change acceptable standards of this year's FCAT standardized writing test.

It comes a day after it was revealed that eighty percent of fourth, eighth and tenth graders passed last year, but one-quarter of all fourth graders and forty percent of tenth graders passed this year.

The State Board of Education says it's partly because the board failed to adequately explain a tougher grading system to teachers.

Amidst an outcry, the board decided to use last year's standards to measure this year's test.

Parents like Tracy Fantaccione say their children are hostages to a wishy-washy system.

"It's useless and a pointless waste of time," she said.

Tuesday night in Boca Raton, Governor Rick Scott, who signed a law that will eventually tie a teacher's paycheck to FCAT scores, addressed a Republican Party gathering at the Marriott Hotel.

"We put a lot of effort into education in this state," he said.

The governor who has said he wants tougher standards, is in favor of lowering them, at least for now.

"Education was my opportunity to live the American Dream," said the governor. "I know they're very focused on that and they looked at the data and made the best decision they could. I haven't seen all the data, but it made sense for me based on what I've seen."

The governor told his GOP audience tonight that the merit pay system would work over the long haul.

"It's important that we listen to parents, teachers, the business community who are going to hire these individuals and we come up with the best education system we can, he said."

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