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Update: FCAT Writing Scores Come out for Duval Intervene Schools

6:37 PM, May 4, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- FCAT writing scores released today revealed that of Duval County's four intervene schools, one showed an increase in writing test scores.

Fourth, eighth and 10th grade students take the exam. This is the first batch of results for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test this year.

Jill Johnson, spokesperson for Duval County Public Schools, said that Ribault High School's scores have increased by 13 percent, meaning that 13 percent more kids scored a 4 or above on the exam. Sixty-nine percent of students scored 4 or higher.

A score of "4" is the standard.

"We expected some good results," said Ribault principal Dr. James Young. " Our kids scoring 5 or better increased from 22 kids to 47 kids. I am so proud of all the students and the teachers who helped prepare them for writing. We hopes this success carries over to the FCAT math, reading and science scores and we can get a C grade and get off the intervene list."

"I am very proud of our teachers and students," said Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith.  "Every time the state raises its expectations for student achievement, the talent and skill of our teachers, combined with the ability of our children, leads to success."

Duval's intervene schools -- Raines, Ribault and Andrew Jackson high schools, and North Shore K-8 -- must improve their FCAT scores in order to avoid a state mandated plan of action.

Jackson's scores were down 4 percent, while Raines' decreased by 1 percent. Sixty-four percent of Jackson's students tested score 4 or above. For Raines, 62 percent of all students scored at 4 or above. 

North Shore's fourth-grade class' score had decreased by 3 percent.

The district had anticipated that some of the scores would decrease, said Johnson, since the standard has increased from "3.5" to a "4."

Duval County schools saw 4 per cent more 4th graders pass the test, 5 % more in the 8th grade and 6% in the tenth grade. 76% of Duval tenth graders passed the FCAT Writing test, which is one per cent better than the state average.

"We are encouraged by the progress but we still  have work to do on the elementary level," said Johnson. Duval 4th graders lage behind the state average.

Last year, 96 percent of Brevard's 10th-graders scored at or above grade level, the highest percentage among Florida's 10 largest districts. The county's fourth- and eighth-graders were on the par or slightly above the state average.

The state board earlier this year ordered DCPS to either close the schools, turn them over to a private company to run or turn them into charter schools if they continued to have failing FCAT scores this year.

Duval Schools Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals developed an alternate plan, appointing a board that would have the power to recommend which teachers or principals stay or go at the four failing schools, despite a state mandate to totally replace staff at the failing schools.

The Florida Association of District School Superintendents is asking the commissioner of education to allow districts another year to implement a "district-managed turnaround school" or exit Intervene status. 

Associated Press

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