How Much For All These Pencils?

It's been almost twenty days. Standardization season was upon us here in Florida as we administered the FCAT Exams. It gets busy, busy... not to mention crazy at school. So, I am finally sitting down and collecting my thoughts and tearing through my mile-long "to do" list.

After my four days of proctoring the exam, I had but one question...

How much for all these pencils?

We provide pencils for the 1.7 million students that take this exam each year in the State of Florida. This is what goes through my mind as I watch these students traverse through this standardized exam. After a bit of research, I was able to find a figure for FCAT spending here in Florida. We are looking at about $28.4 million - with about $170k going to the purchase of pencils... yes, pencils.

I am a believer in standards and accountability. But, is this the way we need to go about it? Spending $28 + million to have students take the exam seems like money wasted. Why not put the money into the recruitment and hiring of qualified educators? Why not put the money into 1:1 initiatives? Why not put the money into the education (not the assessment) of our students?

So... how much for all these pencils?

More to come...

Mike Meechin, M.Ed.

flickr photo by hownowdesign


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