JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Kernan Middle School is proud to be an 'A' school; Kizmit Freeman said her son was proud to be an A/B student at Kernan Middle until now.
"You took a student who is excelling in advanced classes," she said, "and now he feels he's going to be in classes and won't be challenged."
Her son's report card reflects his academic year, but not how well he did on the controversial Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
An exam that has been scrutinized by educators and now a parent.
"There's something wrong there. Maybe we need to get rid of these FCAT scores," she said.
A few days before the start of the school, Freeman learned her 12-year-old had failed the FCAT and will have to take intensive math and reading classes, instead of regular seventh grade classes. She is not happy.
"It is going to put him behind for a whole year in math and reading," said Freeman.
Why did she find out the eleventh hour? She said there was never proper notification.
"Their response to me was 'oh we sent a letter out in the mail that parents could come and pick it up whenever they wanted to,'" she said," I guess I never got the letter."
Freeman said now she understands why there's so much controversy about the state's FCAT, and would like to see a standard of measurement that is fair to the students.
"Should we maybe have a petition for parents to sign? What does it take for us to get these FCATs removed from the Duval County school system because it don't seem to be effective," said Freeman.
Freeman wants to see the data to see how many students has had the same experience.
She is considering private school so her son does not get behind in his education, but would prefer the district place him in classes for his proper grade level.
District spokesperson Jill Johnson said that is not possible. Johnson said the state sets the guidelines.
"As the test is only given once a year to determine proficiency, the child will remain in the classes until he/she can determine proficiency." said Johnson.
Johnson said students must demonstrate proficiency as determined by the FCAT in in order to move from Intensive Reading and Mathematics classes.
First Coast News