FCAT scores: Florida releases 3rd grade reading, math FCAT scores

A little over half of third-grade students scored at passing levels on Florida's standardized exam in math and reading.

Fifty-seven percent of third graders scored at a level 3 or higher in 2014, the same as the previous year. Fifty-eight percent reached the passing score in math, also unchanged from 2013.

The Florida Department of Education announced the results Friday.

Florida students must score a level 2 or higher in reading on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test in order to advance to the next grade. Nineteen percent scored a level 1 in 2014, though it was still unknown exactly how many of those students would be retained.

This year marks the last administration of the FCAT. Students will take a new exam aligned with the Common Core standards next year.

Palm Beach County Scores

In February about 39,000 Palm Beach County School students took the FCAT 2.0 Writing in grades 4, 8 and 10.  In April 2014, approximately 14,400 students took Grade 3 FCAT Reading and Mathematics tests.

In the FCAT Writing portion, Palm Beach County school officials said students continued to "significantly outperform" the rest of the state in the percentage of students scoring 3.5 and above at all tested grades. 

From 2012 to 2014, the district increased the percent of students scoring 3.5 and above 3.0 at grades 4 and 8 and remained the same at grade 10.

Scores remained the same in Reading and increased the percent of students in Level 3 or higher in Mathematics.  Palm Beach County schools performance was similar to that of the rest of the state in Reading and Mathematics.  Click here for more results.

Treasure Coast Scores

More than half of the state's and Treasure Coast's fourth-graders scored at grade level in FCAT writing, according to state scores released Friday.

In fourth grade, about 53 percent of the state's fourth-graders scored at or above grade level by getting a 3.5 out of a 6 on essays they wrote for the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. On the Treasure Coast, about 52 percent of fourth-graders in Indian River and Martin scored at grade level, while 55 percent in St. Lucie were at grade level.

In eighth grade, 56 percent of the state was at grade level. About 64 percent of Martin's eighth-graders scored at grade level, while 45 percent in Indian River and 56 percent in St. Lucie were at grade level.

Tenth-graders fared the best overall, with 64 percent statewide scoring at grade level. In Indian River, 66 percent were at grade level, with 62 percent in St. Lucie and 61 percent in Martin at grade level.

About 20 percent of the state's third-graders could be heading to summer school this year, while 43 percent of the state's third-graders scored below grade level.

Along the Treasure Coast, 82 percent of Indian River's third-graders scored high enough to avoid retention and summer school, while in Martin 85 percent passed and 78 percent in St. Lucie passed.

Third-grade reading scores are of special interest because of the high stakes attached. Students must score at a level 2 on a five-level scoring tier or higher on the reading FCAT or risk not being promoted to the fourth grade.

Grade level is considered scoring a level 3 or higher. Statewide, 57 percent scored on grade level in third-grade. Scores were similar in Indian River with 56 percent on grade level and in Martin with58 percent on grade level. In St. Lucie, about half of the third-graders scored at grade level in reading.

While third-graders took the FCAT at the same time in April as other public school students, scores are released earlier than the others so districts can plan for summer school. Third-graders who fail the FCAT reading can attend an intensive reading summer school program and take an alternate assessment to be promoted.

Third-grade math scores also were released, although they do not have the same high stakes. About 58 percent of the state's third-graders scored at grade level with a level 3 or higher. Martin students scored the highest in math, with about 63 percent on grade level. About 49 percent of Indian River's third-graders and 47 percent of St. Lucie's third-graders were on grade level.

Students in grades 4, 8 and 10 took the FCAT writing assessment in late February.


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