Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he has a reason to celebrate. Bush says this year's Florida Comprehensive Achievement Test scores show the biggest improvements ever, especially among minority students.
The governor and the secretary of education say this year's F-CAT scores show improvement for every grade but 10th in math and reading. In the governor's eyes, that means Florida schools are leaving fewer kids behind.
Students put their pencils to the F-CAT paper once again, and by bush administration accounts, their scores are only going up. Gov. Bush says he's especially proud of rising numbers for minority students.
Bush says, “The myth that somehow some kids can learn and some kids can't has to be shattered in our state, and I intend to shatter it.”
Almost twice as many African-American students scored at or above grade level in 2003 compared to 1998, 41 percent this year versus 23 percent six years ago. White and Hispanic students showed grade level gains as well.
“This is a great day in Florida. This is a day to celebrate. We're showing incredible gains at all grade levels and I think it's something we should be very proud of,” says Jim Horne.
Low scores can have big consequences for students, and their schools. Tony Welch of the Florida education association says many educators worry f-cat results mean too much.
“It's not the test itself which can be good diagnostic tool it's that we're taking test and then labeling the school a failure overall or the child a failure,” he says.