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FCAT results show improvement in writing, little change in reading

3:49 PM, May 24, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- This year's FCAT results are out for reading, math and writing and they show improvements in writing and little change in math and reading.

In third grade reading, 57 percent of students scored a three or higher on a five-point scale and are considered proficient readers. That's up one percent from last year.

The percentage of third graders doing math at grade level stayed the same at 58 percent.

Eighteen percent of third graders scored a one on the reading test and may be retained as a result. But they can still be promoted by attending a summer reading camp or showing a wider portfolio of school work.

K-12 Schools Chancellor Pam Stewart says typically about 7 percent of third graders are held back after scoring at the lowest level for reading.

The FCAT results show more than 40 percent of third graders are not reading at grade level.

Stewart said that is not necessarily a red flag.

"What I would say is that it is work that we have left to do. We know we need to improve our students' reading across the board and so that's something that we will focus on."

Students in fourth, eighth and tenth grades took the FCAT writing assessment.

Fourth graders improved a lot with 57 percent scoring at 3.5 or above on a six-point scale. That's up nine points from 2012.

Stewart attributes that big improvement to extra training for teachers, as well as teaching students to offer more supporting details in their writing.

"I would characterize the writing scores as being very positive. We are moving in the right direction and remember that when we raise the bar in Florida, we have a year that there's a dip and then we come back up and that's what we're seeing with the writing scores."

Eighth and tenth graders also posted slight improvements in their writing scores.

Here are the results for 3rd grade reading in Hillsborough County:

Level 1: 19%
Level 2: 25%
Level 3: 23%
Level 4: 22%
Level 5: 11%

Total: 56% at grade level

Duval County:

Level 1: 18%
Level 2: 27%
Level 3: 23%
Level 4: 22%
Level 5: 10%

Total: 55% at grade level

Here are the results for 3rd grade math in Hillsborough County:

Level 1: 21%
Level 2: 25%
Level 3: 29%
Level 4: 16%
Level 5: 9%

Total: 54% at grade level

Duval County:

Level 1: 18%
Level 2: 26%
Level 3: 31%
Level 4: 16%
Level 5: 9%

Total: 56% at grade level

Dave Heller

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