Good student Laela Gray held back over 1 point on test

Oct 5, 2013 by

The story of an 8-year-old girl in Orlando offers a perfect illustration of what “high stakes” standardized testing means.

Bay News 9 reported that Laela Gray was held back in third grade this fall — despite a fine report card — because she missed getting the necessary score on the state’s test by one point.

Pershing Elementary High School couldn’t  allow her to move up to fourth, with her twin brother, because she scored 181 on the reading portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, instead of a 182. In the final quarter of third grade, she earned ‘A’s in all of her subjects except for a ‘C’ in reading, but state law says it is the test score that mattered, not what her teachers thought of her work.

Laela worked with a tutor on test-taking strategies in September and then took a benchmark test, for which she needed a 33 to pass. She got a 63 and was allowed to move up to the fourth grade, having missed a month of work.


Rick Roach, a member of the Orange County School Board, said there are thousands of youngsters around the state who have been held back unfairly because of their FCAT score.  He was quoted by the television station as saying:

It’s the state law and it doesn’t sit well with me. I  thought this is an example of when high stakes tests go too far.

Good student Laela Gray held back over 1 point on test.

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