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FDOE: Florida's Third Grade FCAT 2.0 Results Show Promise

By: Florida Department of Education Release
By: Florida Department of Education Release

 

Link to all scores for all grades from FDOE.

http://fcat.fldoe.org/mediapacket/2012/default.asp

TALLAHASSEE – May 24, 2012 -

Leon County Schools Beats State Average in Reading and Math

Today the Florida Department of Education released the results from the 2011-2012 FCAT scores for the third grade reading and mathematics and also for the biology and geometry end-of-course exams. The scores reflect the State’s continued focus on increased rigor and changes to the third grade cut scores that determine proficiency. As expected, scores decreased across the state. Comparing the scores from this year to last year is difficult because of these changes.

The percent of LCS third grade students scoring level 3 or higher is above the State average in reading (+1%) and mathematics (+4%). Even with the increase in rigor, LCS showed a significant increase in the amount of students scoring at the highest level in third grade reading, with a 4% increase in those achieving Level 5 (10% to 14%). These scores ranked #3 in mathematics and #4 in reading for districts the size of LCS or larger. As expected due to the higher cut scores, the number of students eligible to attend the Summer Reading Academy, by scoring Level 1, increased from 445 to 504.

For the end-of-course exams, LCS was well above the state in students scoring in the top third in geometry (+18%) and in biology (+15%). Eighty-one percent of LCS students scored in the top two-thirds in geometry and 76% in biology. End-of-course exam results are reported as a score in the “top-third”, “middle-third”, or “bottom-third” based on a Theta score. For this year’s ninth graders, the score will account for 30% of their course grade.

Fifty-two percent of LCS students scored in the top-third for the geometry exam, and 50% scored in the top-third in the biology exam. These scores ranked #2 in the state for districts the size of LCS or larger. At the middle school level, Deerlake and Montford both had 100% of their students score in the top-third in both geometry and biology. At the high school level, Chiles High had 75% of their geometry students and 70% of their biology students scored in the top-third.

“Leon County Schools continues to rank as one of the top school districts in the state of Florida,” said Jackie Pons, Superintendent of Leon Schools. “I want to thank our teachers, students and administrators for their hard work and dedication.”

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When the State Board of Education set higher achievement levels for FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics in December, they were acting on recommendations from Florida’s educators, parents and the community and data showing the impact of the new achievement levels on students and schools. Today’s results for Florida’s third graders proved those estimates to be almost on target for both reading and math. While comparing actual year over year scores is difficult because of differences in the way this year’s and last year’s results are reported, impact data comparisons show third graders did slightly higher than estimated in math and slightly lower than estimated in reading.

““The future success of third grade students depends on mastering essential reading skills,” said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson. “Today’s results help us determine how and where we should focus our resources so students who are struggling with reading get the extra help they need to succeed. Whether we’re preparing a child for college, career training or the workplace, they must have the fundamentals of reading to be successful.”

Florida’s third grade assessments are especially important because in 2002 the state adopted a third grade progression policy requiring students to have the necessary reading skills in order to move to the next grade. Children who struggle with reading in third grade and get extra help before fourth grade are less likely to drop out of school and are more successful as they move through school according to recent studies. Florida’s approach has been so successful that other states, including Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and North Carolina, are considering legislation modeled after Florida.

Students in third grade must reach Achievement Level 2 or higher on FCAT 2.0 Reading to be promoted to fourth grade. Scoring at Achievement Level I on reading, however, does not mean automatic retention. There are other options for teachers and principals that allow promotion, such as considering a portfolio of a student’s work or using an approved alternative standardized assessment.

Since 2006, more than 90 percent of third grade students have been promoted each year. In 2011, for example, 16 percent of third grade students scored at Achievement Level 1 in reading, but only seven percent were actually retained.

Results released today include 2012 FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics results for third grade students.

Reading

· 56 percent of third grade students are reading at or above Level 3.

· The percentage of third grade students reading at or above Level 3 in 2011 was 57 percent based on applying the higher achievement levels to last year’s results.

· The percentage of third grade students scoring Level 1 is 18 percent.

· The percentage of third grade students scoring at Level 1 in 2011 was also 18 percent based on applying the higher achievement levels to last year’s results.

Mathematics

· 58 percent of third grade students scored at or above Level 3 in Mathematics.

· The percentage of third grade students achieving at or above Level 3 in 2011 was 56 percent applying the higher achievement levels to last year’s results.

· The percentage of third grade students scoring Level 1 is 18 percent.

· The percentage of third grade students scoring at Level 1 in 2011 was 19 percent applying the higher achievement levels to last year’s results.

More information about statewide assessment results and media packets are available at http://fcat.fldoe.org/mediapacket/2012/default.asp.


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