Veteran teacher Julie McCue and Florida teacher-hopeful Daryl Bryant react to the latest results from a teacher test saga they’ve been living for the last two years.
"Some surprise,” said McCue. “Some of the things that came out in the proposed order were interesting,” she said.
“I can’t say I’m totally shocked or surprised,” said Bryant.
A Florida Administrative Judge recently rejected McCue’s claims that the failing scores she received on the essay portion of the Florida Educational Leadership Exam (FELE) is wrong. The judge also rejected Bryant’s claims that his failure on the essay portion of the Florida Teacher Licensing Exam is the result of a flawed test and scoring procedure.
The two took their fight against the Florida Department of Education to the top after Bryant failed the essay portion of the FTCE three times and McCue failed the essay portion of the FELE four times.
McCue took the FELE in an effort to earn more as a teacher. The state won’t recognize her Master’s Degree if she doesn’t pass the test.
But the judge, in both cases, described their critiques of the test and its scoring system, “wholly unpersuasive.” In a recommended order released earlier this month, the judge cited McCue and Bryant for failing to prove there's anything "unfair or discriminatory” about the process.
“I’m extremely dissatisfied,” said Bryant.
"There are some things that are blatantly clear- blatantly clear and unfair,” said McCue.
The exams, administered and scored by testing giant Pearson Vue, are a must pass for every teacher who wants to teach or earn more teaching in Florida.
In 2015, the state purposely made the tests more rigorous to better align with more rigorous student tests.
But our investigation revealed the revisions have resulted in unprecedented failure rates, with overall passing rates still down 30% on some portions of both the FTCE and FELE exams.
The state maintains the drop is typical with revisions and Pearson’s scoring process is detailed, thorough leaving mistakes virtually impossible. Over the summer, Bryant and McCue provided testimony to the judge during two days’ worth of administrative hearings.
In the end, the judge agreed with the state, leaving 20-year classroom veteran, Julie McCue and a physical education coordinator, Daryl Bryant now studying their next moves.
“That’s a good question, I’m not sure,” said Bryant when asked about his next move.
“My next step is to appeal. Absolutely 150% I will continue to fight,” said McCue.
The recommended order will need to go to the Commission on Education for final approval.