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Will FCAT on Good Friday cause a stir?

in Statewide by

The Gradebook asks a very good question: Will scheduling the FCAT on Good Friday cause more problems than its worth.

Scheduling classes on certain religious holidays has proven controversial in some Florida school districts. (Think Hillsborough and Good Friday, or Collier and Yom Kippur, to name but two.)

So how much of a mess is the Florida Department of Education going to create by scheduling the 2011 FCAT exams over not one but two holidays?

Superintendents in several districts have noted that the announced testing dates overlap both Good Friday and Passover for the coming year. They’ve asked to have the dates changed, as the DOE did a few years back when a similar situation arose. But so far, the state hasn’t budged, to hear district leaders tell it.

That’s not necessarily the final word, though.

SB 4 included language requiring the education commissioner to “consider the observance of religious and school holidays” when setting the state testing schedule. And the state’s FCAT website now says, “The 2010-11 Statewide Assessment Schedule is currently under revision due to the changes specified in Senate Bill 4 passed by the 2010 Legislature. The revised schedule will be posted here soon.”

We’ll let you know if things change.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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