The state Department of Education has released the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) scores for 4th through 10th grade reading, math and science, as well the results from this year’s end-of-course exams in algebra 1, geometry, biology 1 and U.S. history.
According to the state’s data, only about half of the Duval County students who took the tests scored a 3 or above, roughly the same percentage of students who were proficient last year.
High school students who took the end of course exams fared much better than students last year.
Florida Education Commissioner Tony Bennett says it’s obvious more attention was paid to student performance on the end of course tests.
“There was unquestionably a focus this year on those assessments, and Florida knows better than any state in the United States that what we measure and what we focus on is where we get our results. I think we have to have a return to rigor on writing, reading and math at the elementary levels.”
Bennett says another reason for the flat FCAT scores could be due to the state’s ongoing transition to the tougher common core standards which will be fully implemented in 2014.
In Duval County, slightly more than half the students who took the FCAT scored a 3 or higher.
Duval School Superintendent Dr Nikolai Vitti says the good news is that students continue to show improvement.
"The growth and exceeding the state average in certain grade levels is encouraging, and shows we're working harder, but not only harder, we're working smarter."
Duval county 10th graders scored the biggest gains in reading going from 45% proficiency last year to 50% proficiency this year.
Statewide, 54% of 10th graders scored a 3 or better, up from 50% last year.
St. Johns County students continue to lead the state on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.
According to the data, some 75% of St Johns 4th through 10th graders scored a 3 or better on the reading assessment.
Around 70% of 4th through 8th graders were proficient in math.
As for this year’s end-of-course exams, St. Johns County high school students did better than 80% of students statewide on the algebra 1, geometry and biology 1 tests.
62%of St. Johns students passed the U.S. History exam - a higher pass-rate than any other school district in the state.