Harcourt Assessment Inc. of San Antonio, Texas, which administers and grades the FCAT under a state contract stands by "the validity and reliability of the FCAT," company spokesman Russell Schweiss said in an e-mail.
[Same Russell Schweiss, 30, appointed as Jeb Bush's Senior Press Secretary. He has served as Deputy Press Secretary in the Governor's Office since April 2005.]
Schweiss looks to be a very loyal Bushie, part of what Frank Cerabino of the Palm Beach Post calls the Jeb Bush Legacy Disaster Response Team.
Editorial in May 25, 2007 Tampa Tribune:
FCAT Flunks The Credibility Test, And The Public Deserves Answers
Florida has a $39 million contract with Harcourt Assessment.
Florida's FCAT debacle began earlier this month when the 2007 third-grade reading scores took an unexpected dive. Last year 75 percent of third graders read at or above grade level. This year only 69 percent did. Florida Department of Education officials were quick to defend the test - and ridiculously insinuated that last year's third graders were simply smarter.
As it turns out, the test was the problem.
The Foundation for Florida's Future founded to tout Jeb Bush's education achievements only tells good things about the FCAT. Its website has no mention that:
In response to the mistakes, 204,000 tests will have to be regraded and independent audits will become a regular part of the massive state testing program.Foundation for Florida's Future was established after the Florida Supreme Court ruled against vouchers.
It's unclear precisely what the foundation, a non-profit issue advocacy group, will spend the money on. But there will be one distinct difference between his revamped foundation and the version he ran after losing his first race for governor in 1994: This time donors will be fully disclosed.[not on website as of 5/25/07].
Mandy Fletcher, executive director of the foundation, said that despite not being legally required to reveal donors, a list of contributors will be maintained on the web site. [not on website as of 5/25/07].
[Remember tho that Tampa-area construction company headed by conservative activist Ralph Hughes Bush's group [Foundation for Florida's Future] donated a whopping $500,000.The check written by Cast-Crete Corp., which bills itself as the country's largest manufacturer of certain precast concrete construction products, is far and away the largest single donation Bush's group has received since it was revived last year. It's even more than the $350,000 given in seven installments by The Villages, the sprawling retirement development in Central Florida run by GOP booster Gary Morse.Many expect the foundation will play a leading role this fall in campaigns to convince voters to preserve private school vouchers and scale back class-size restrictions.]
Harcourt Assessment's head of Public Relations is FCAT champion Jeb Bush's former Press Secretary.
Russell Schweiss was Jeb Bush's Press Secretary.
Here Schweiss applauds the FCAT in his role as Jeb's Press Secretary:
Governor Bush and Commissioner Winn Announce FCAT Results for 3rd and 12th Grades. Record number of third graders reading at or above grade level
Now we know that was a press released based on INCORRECT information. Instead of success, Florida has a FCAT fiasco: Scores wrong; Hundreds of thousands of third-graders' tests will be reviewed.
Russell Schweiss is FCAT PR man at Harcourt.
19500 Bulverde Road
San Antonio, TX 78259
Russell Schweiss, 210-339-5942
More on loyal Bushie-ism.