Latest FCAT scores out

Palm Beach County students beat the state average of the percentage of students scoring at or above proficient in nearly every subject and grade, according to FCAT results released this morning.

The scores that were released this morning by the state Department of Education were: reading for fourth- through 10th-graders, math for fourth- through eighth-graders and 10th-graders, and science for fifth-, eighth- and 11th-graders.

The third grade reading and math FCAT results, as well as the writing FCAT results, have previously been released.

Some of this year's FCATs were designed using the state's new Next Generation Sunshine State standards, which are considered more rigorous than the previous FCAT standards. All students, grades 3-10, took the new "FCAT 2.0" reading portion this year.

Students in grades 3-8 also took the FCAT 2.0 in math; 10th graders took the regular FCAT version, although they switched from pencil-and-paper to a computer-based format.

The science FCAT, given to students in 5, 8 and 11th grade, also did not use the more rigorous standards this year.

Palm Beach County students' scores on the science FCAT rose over last year, an increase that was also seen statewide. However, county 10th grade math FCAT scores fell from the previous year, again a decrease that was felt on average statewide.

"I'm very encouraged by the continued progress we are seeing in science, but the overall performance of our students is still far too low," Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith said in a statement.

Because the FCAT 2.0 is new, the state is not setting achievement levels for those exams yet. Instead, the scoring for this year's tests in math and reading will be reported on the old FCAT scale as FCAT equivalent scores. The state is cautioning that comparison between this year's scores on FCAT 2.0 tests and previous year's FCAT scores "should be made with caution."

The results of the new algebra 1 end-of-course exam will be released in the coming days.


Overall, the percentage of Treasure Coast sophomores passing the test went down compared to last year.

In Indian River County, 64 percent passed reading, about 1 percentage point below last year. About 85 percent passed the math section, about 2 percentage points lower than last year. In Martin, 68 percent passed reading, about 4 percentage points below last year. About 89 percent passed math, 2 percentage points below last year. In St. Lucie, about 53 percent passed reading, down 3 percentage points from last year. About 78 percent passed math, about 3 percentage points below last year.

Statewide, 60 percent of the 10th-graders passed reading, while 82 percent passed math. The same percentages passed reading statewide last year, while 84 percent passed math.