Computer-based FCAT a bad idea

Staring at a computer all day is not my idea of fun. Sure, it’s no big deal when you’re surfing the web or absently clicking around Facebook, but when it comes to the important things — say an online test —  I just can’t bring myself to focus. Maybe it’s the way my eyes start to blur after several unwavering minutes of staring at a dull computer screen or maybe I’m just crazy. Either way, in no universe is having the FCAT Math test on the computer a good idea.

“Stupid.” “Impractical.” “A waste of time.” These are just some of the ways my peers have described the computerized FCAT test. Even if there are a few black sheep who enjoyed a change of pace, the majority ruled that it was overall a pointless measure. Furthermore, if the Department of Education and those few students are so bent on having FCAT computerized, why not offer an alternative to take the test the in written form?

Not only is the test difficult to focus on, but it also messed up schedules for both students and teachers. Due to the ratio of students to computers, the test had to be spread out over the course of two weeks. Teachers never knew what day they would and wouldn’t have students in class, and students had to miss class time in order to take a test that used to only take an hour or so. And don’t get me started on errors. Luckily, I wasn’t one of the students who experienced an error while testing, but just imagine doing hours worth of geometry and algebra only to have a malfunction erase your work.

Overall, I believe the downsides of computerized testing outweigh the advantages, whatever they might be, and Brevard County should stick the old fashioned way of FCAT testing: with paper and a pencil.

By: Noël Schutz, sophomore