UPDATE Tallahassee, Florida May 4,2011 4:58 pm by Jill Chandler
Every single Leon County School increased its percentage of students scoring a 4.0 or higher.
This is important because it's the first year the Department of Education has upped its standards, and educators in the Leon County School district could barely contain their excitement Wednesday morning.
Superintendent Jackie Pons said, "They raise it to 4.0 and every one of our schools shows improvement in that area. I think it's a reflection of what a great school district we have."
Making a 4.0 means the student is writing at grade level, or a bit higher. Those scores count for School Grades, which come out this summer.
Paul Felsch is the Paul Felsh Leon County Schools Director of Testing. He said, "So all those students who scored a 3.0 and above would not be counted positively, and that's why we are so proud this year of our schools that they stepped to the plate."
Leon County hit a home run, bringing in scores that are better than the statewide results by three percent.
Superintendent Jackie Pons recognized the schools with large increases, and says it's a hard time for teachers with everything going on at the capitol, but they have worked hard and it shows.
Principal Taka Mays of Oak Ridge Elementary spoke highly of her teachers. Mays said, "They teach bell to bell... The kids are there in the morning ready to learn so this is only going to encourage them."
Joe Burgess of Swift Creek Middle bragged on his teachers, too. Burgess said, "They touch their lives you know... They're going to build these wonderful people that are going to go out and produce and come up with these advanced medicines and technologies for the future and it starts with the teachers."
Individual student scores are expected to be released in two weeks.
LEON COUNTY SCHOOLS PRESS RELEASE:
State Releases 2010-2011 FCAT Writing Scores
Every LCS School Increased Percentage of Students Scoring 4.0 or Better
Tallahassee, FL—Today the Florida Department of Education released results of the 2010-2011 FCAT Writing Test. This is the first year of the Department of Education’s new writing standards. This year the calculation impacting School Grades includes the percentage of students scoring 4.0 and higher.
“I am excited that Leon County Schools met the new challenge set by the state in every elementary, middle and high school,” said Superintendent of Schools Jackie Pons. “Our teachers, administrators, students, parents and the entire community continue to work together during these tough times to ensure that student achievement continues to be a top priority.”
The district wide percentage of LCS elementary students scoring 4.0 and better increased by 19% (58% to 77%). Middle School scores increased by 9% (72% to 81%). The high schools continued the pattern by increasing 6% (71% to 77%).
The LCS percentage of increases in scores of 4.0 and higher was better than the State:
Leon Schools Increases State Increases
Elementary +19% +13%
Middle school + 9% + 6%
High school +6% +3%
Individual elementary schools that showed the most increase in percentage of students scoring 4.0 and above include: Oak Ridge (+37%); Fort Braden (+32%), Chaires and Sealy showed an increase of 31%.
At the secondary level, Fort Braden Middle School students improved 18%, from 72% to 90%, while both Deerlake and Fairview showed 15% improvement. Lincoln (+11%, from 71% to 82%) showed the most improvement at the high school level.
Schools with 90% or more of their students scoring 4.0 and above include: Deerlake Middle (95%), Swift Creek Middle (93%), Oak Ridge Elementary (93%) and Fort Braden Middle Schools (90%).
[UPDATE] TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA - May 4, 2011 – Noon -
FCAT writing scores are out, and Florida students have reason to celebrate.
According to the just released results, writing scores improved in every tested grade. The scores show that every grade improved their scores with 4th, 8th and 10th grade experiencing record highs.
The latest release of writing results indicates 81 percent of students in grade 4, 82 percent of students in grade 8, and 75 percent of students in grade 10 scored at or above a 4 on the six-point grading scale. Additionally, the results show that the average essay score increased to 4.0 in grade 4, 4.2 in grade 8, and 4.0 in grade 10.
Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith says, "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."
The State Board of Education is considering revising the grading criteria to reward schools for the percentage of students scoring at or above 4, rather than 3.5. If approved by the Board, a score of 4 would be the standard used beginning this school year in the grading of schools.
WCTV was at the Leon County Schools district office to see how Leon County Students scored. Everyone at the Leon County Schools headquarters were all smiles. Every Leon County School increased the percentage of students scoring a 4.0 or better on the writing test.
Elementary , middle and high schools all scored three percentage points higher than the state increases.
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA - May 4, 2011 –
With Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Writing standards expected to increase this year, teachers and students have yet again proven they stand ready to match higher expectations with impressive achievement.
How did Florida's students do on the FCAT? Join WCTV reporter Jill Chandler is evening as she finds out how students around the state tested.
According to the 2011 FCAT Writing results, the percentage of students scoring 4 or higher increased in all tested grade levels, with 4th, 8th, and 10th graders experiencing historic highs compared to previous years. On May 17th, the State Board of Education will consider the revision of grading criteria to reward schools for the percent of students scoring at or above 4, rather than 3.5 as it has been since 2005. If approved by the Board, a score of 4 would be the standard used beginning this school year in the grading of schools.
“Our educators continue to rise to the occasion, answering the call of increased expectations for our students to ensure they are leaving school ready for the next step,” said Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “I am very proud of our teachers and students. 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. Our students that scored proficient or above in writing have achieved a skill level that will serve them well in school and in work.”
The latest release of writing results indicates 81 percent of students in grade 4, 82 percent of students in grade 8, and 75 percent of students in grade 10 scored at or above a 4 on the six-point grading scale. This compares with previous highs of 73 percent in grade 4 (2009), 80 percent in grade 8 (2009), and 72 percent in grade 10 (2010) scoring 4 or higher on the writing exam. Additionally, the results show that the average essay score increased to 4.0 in grade 4, 4.2 in grade 8, and 4.0 in grade 10.
These results continue a trend also seen in Florida’s performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Writing assessment, where there have been continuous increases in the state’s eighth grade writing performance. Between 1998 and 2007, the most recent year for which NAEP Writing results are available, Florida’s eighth grade performance on the national writing exam increased by 17 percentage points for students scoring at or above the Proficient level, with only four states scoring better than the Sunshine State. A score of Proficient on NAEP is comparable to a score of 5 on the FCAT Writing assessment. Selected Florida students in eighth and twelfth grade also participated in the first computer-based NAEP Writing assessment earlier this year.
Individual student score reports for FCAT Writing are expected to be mailed to districts for receipt by Thursday, May 12. Districts and schools can use their secure login and password provided by the Department to access electronic copies of their reports today.