As a parent, you may have be incredibly frustrated with the FCAT -- Florida's High Stakes Tests.

16% of the 3rd graders failed the 3rd grade FCAT.

28% failed the 10th grade FCAT.

What is scary is that many smart kids from great families are failing the FCAT.

For students with Dyslexia, a Learning Disability or ADHD, the challenges are even greater.

We have seen people argue for boycotting the FCAT or Dumping The FCAT -- and many parents focused on helping their child succeed.

As parents and professionals, we believe it is important to focus on three things:
1- Helping students with Dyslexia, a Learning Disability and ADHD to succeed -- these children are really struggling and they need parents, school-based professionals and outside professionals to help them succeed.

2- Dumping The FCAT Culture. A classic case was when a friend of ours, who was using a game to help her students improve their spelling, was pulled aside by her principal and told that was not in theFCAT Curriculum and should be discontinued. The FCAT has real value, but the culture it has created is counterproductive:
- The Broward School Board is proactively trying to change the culture -- but the teachers and principals are paid on FCAT results. The system has to be changed.

- Teachers estimate that as much as 30% of the school year is focused on FCAT Preparation - to what end.

- Kids with Dyslexia, a Learning Disability and ADHD are subjected to a tricky test with incredible pressure, and they tend to do poorly.

- Colleges are complaining that Florida students do not have the skills to do well in college and in life.

- Too many kids with Dyslexia, a Learning Disability and ADHD are not given the help and the accommodations they need.

We need a Parent Revolution to Change The FCAT Culture.

We need to examine ways to Dump The FCAT culture. To join the effort, visit Parent Revolution to Change The FCAT Culture

We believe there is a real need to encourage better teaching and truly engages our kids. Two examples:

Professor Dykstra, Mark's Business Law Professor, came in dressed like he worked at McDonald's, to give his annual Hamburger lecture on Specific Performance -- a legal term related to the need to deliver on what is promised. His use of his chef's costume, a spatula, and his humorous approach made the lesson stick -- and was both memorable and effective.

A teacher trying to get her students to remember the Allies in World War 1, took the word allies, then used the word allied, created a visual of an Allied Van lines truck on FIRE


These non-traditional and effective approaches are very effective and need to be nurtured and duplicated.

We need to find ways to reward those innovate professionals who engage their students, get great results, and are especially good at helping children with Dyslexia, a Learning Disability, and/or ADHD.

Share your great ideas at

Author's Bio: 

Mark Halpert ia a parent-educator who offer private options for parents with smart struggling children at their 3D Learner Center in Boca Raton, FL. For more information visit our web page at or call 561-361-7495.