Teacher Fired for Distributing State Test

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A math teacher at Florida A&M's Developmental Research School has been fired for copying and distributing portions of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (search) as a study tool.

James Saylor had been on paid administrative leave since April. He had admitted copying portions of the 2002 FCAT and giving them to students as practice for the 2003 exam, officials said.

Two story passages in the copied material were identical to passages in this year's 10th-grade FCAT reading test. State law prohibits the reproduction of a state standardized test.

Saylor did not return a call seeking comment.

The FCAT is given each year to public school students in grades three through 10 in reading and math. The FCAT also tests writing in three grades -- fourth, eighth and 10th -- and, starting this year, science in fifth, eighth and 10th.

The test was developed under the administration of the late Gov. Lawton Chiles (search) and field tested in 1997. It was given statewide in 1998 to create baseline data. The following year, when Gov. Jeb Bush (search) took office, the state began using the test to judge schools and students.

Third-graders may be retained if they fail the reading portion of the test and high school seniors must pass the 10th grade FCAT to graduate.