A majority of Tampa Bay parents believe the FCAT is an unreliable way to assess student and school performance, according to a poll by the St. Petersburg Times and Bay News 9.

Among the results of the study, 76 percent of parents believe there is too much emphasis placed on the FCAT in schools and 52 percent said the test does not accurately reflect either their child’s or the school’s performance.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, state leaders are already incorporating other ways of measuring student success, such as end-of-course exams:

“I think there is an effort in the state to be responsive to looking at this in a more sophisticated way,” said Florida Commissioner of Education Eric Smith, who called the legislation that changed how high schoolers are measured, “some of the best legislation in the country.”

The results are based on answers from 702 Tampa Bay residents with school-age children. The poll was conducted Sept. 24-30 by American Directions Group, a market research company.

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