UF professor available to talk about recent FCAT controversy
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A University of Florida faculty member who specializes in standardized testing is available to talk about the recent Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, news.
M. David Miller, a research methods and evaluation professor, has worked with standardized tests since 1983. He was the co-director of the Kansas K-12 assessment program before coming to UF in 1987. He has been a consultant on testing programs in Florida, Kentucky, Minnesota, Georgia and California.
In the past year, the state Department of Education changed the FCAT 2.0. The writing portion had to be graded by two people who were asked to place greater weight on punctuation and grammar, and students had to score a 4.0 instead of a 3.5 to pass. Writing scores plummeted compared with last year’s scores because of these changes. The board of education lowered the passing grade of the writing portion for this year, but there is controversy over the validity of the board’s decision.
“There are many technical issues that will affect the validity of the test scores with these types of changes,” Miller said. “The comparability of test scores from FCAT 1 to FCAT 2 is questionable, and initial results suggest that growth and change is not being validly assessed with the changes in the assessment.”
Miller has worked with K-12 assessments and teacher certification assessments. His expertise is in the technical aspects of the testing programs – understanding the reliability and validity of the results. He is widely published in the areas of assessment and psychometrics including the soon-to-be released 11th edition of “Measurement and Assessment in Teaching.”
- Jessica Oliver