Changes for the FCAT

By: Angela Salerno Email
By: Angela Salerno Email

Third graders from some Tallahassee schools scored a level one, the lowest grade on the reading portion of the FCAT, but they won't slip through the cracks, thanks to the recent rejection by the state's school board.

Tom Butler, Florida's Department of Educations Press Secretary, said, "Schools need to reach the 50 percent of the lowest 25 percent they have to achieve learning gains, the reason was made to suspend that part of the calculation for this year, and ultimately the board did not approve it."

Struggling students will continue to pull weight on school grade calculations.

"I believe the purpose of putting that in there is to look at all students whether they are high achievers or low achieving students to make sure we are looking at the data for all of our students," said Jo Marie Olk, Principal at Hartsfield Elementary.

In related developments, the board agreed the 2006 third grade reading scores will not be calculated into school grades.

Many educators welcome the decision, saying a lot more goes into calculating school grades.

"That's only one piece of data, there is a lot of other things, classes with bench marks, that we all use in the classroom everyday with the Sunshine State Standards," said Olk.

School grades will be released by the end of June, two weeks later than usual.

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