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FCAT Scores Released For Sarasota Schools

This year's writing test scores reflect the approved lowering from a 4 to a 3 score for a passing grade.

still ranks above its peers across the state even with the on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test writing portion.

The state Department of Education released test results Friday morning for the growingly controversial FCAT, which tests reading and writing. The scores, on a zero to six scale, were lowered from 4 to a 3 for a passing score for the writing test. At the start of the year, that score was increased to 4 from 3.5. Because of that change, Sarasota County Schools are taking a look at how many students received a 3 or better this year compared to last year, too. (PDFs of the complete scores are available underneath the photos with this story.)

In Sarasota County, 9,000 public school students participated in the writing tests, including students with disabilities and English-language learners, according to Sarasota County Schools. 

If the passing scoree would have remained a 4, 42 percent of students in the fourth grade would have passed in Sarasota County, 49 percent in eighth grade 47 percent in 10th grade, according to data supplied by the state.

It made a huge difference more so for charter schools in grades eight and 10, especially for Phoenix Academy, which saw a 61 percentage point advantage for students receiving a 3.0 and above compared to a 4.0 and above in eighth grade and 73 percent more in 10th grade. 

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Yet several elementary schools saw a great benefit from the test adjustment. 

What schools benefited the most from the lowered scores? Here are the differences in percentage points between how many more students received a 3.0 and above versus a 4.0 and above. 

 

Grade 4

•  — 65 percentage points

•  — 64 percentage points

• Suncoast School For Innovative Studies — 63 percentage points

• — 60 percentage points

• — 56 percentage points

• — 56 percentage points

• — 53 percentage points

• — 53 percentage points

• — 50 percentage points

• Ashton Elementary — 43 percentage points

• — 42 percentage points

• Imagine at Palmer Ranch — 39 percentage points

• — 38 percentage points

•  — 37 percentage points

 

Grade 8

•  — 61 percentage points

• Triad Alternative School — 58 percentage points

• Suncoast School For Innovative Studies — 54 percentage points

• — 50 percentage points

 

Grade 10

• Triad Alternative School — 74 percentage points

• Phoenix Academy — 73 percentage points more

• Sarasota Virtual School — 64 percentage points more

• — 45 percentage points more

•  — 45 percentage points more

•  — 44 percentage points more

 

Here are the overall snapshot at the writing results:

 

  • In grade four, 87 percent of district students scored 3.0 or above, compared to 81 percent statewide. Last year, 98 percent of district fourth-graders scored 3.0 or above in writing.

 

  • In grade eight, 86 percent of district students scored 3.0 or above, compared to 77 percent statewide. Last year, 98 percent of district eighth-graders scored 3.0 or above in writing.

 

       •     In grade 10, 87 percent of district students scored 3.0 or above, compared to 84 percent statewide. Last year, 95 percent of district 10th-graders scored 3.0 or above in writing.

 

Here are the best performing schools in Sarasota with the highest percentage of 3 or above on the writing essay:

 

Grade 4

• Pine View (countywide gifted school located in Osprey) —99 percent

• Southside — 98 percent

• Bay Haven — 92 percent

• Ashton — 92 percent

• Tatum Ridge — 93 percent

 

Grade 8

 

• Pine View — 98 percent

• Arts & Sciences — 96 percent

• Sarasota — 92 percent

• Imagine At Palmer Ranch — 90 percent

 

Grade 10

 

• Pine View — 100 percent

• Suncoast Polytechnical — 94 percent

• Sarasota Military — 90 percent

• Riverview —90 percent

 

Reading Scores

 

FCAT spring reading tests were given to students in grades three through 10, but only results for grades nine and 10 were released Friday, the school system announced. About 6,300 students took the reading tests in the county.  

The FCAT reading scores are reported by Achievement Levels 1 to 5, with Level 3 indicating proficiency.

 

  • In grade nine, 64 percent of district students scored Level 3 or above, compared to 52 percent statewide. Last year, 57 percent of district ninth-graders scored Level 3 or above in reading.
  • In grade 10, 61 percent of district students scored Level 3 or above, compared to 50 percent statewide. Last year, 46 percent of district 10th-graders scored Level 3 or above in reading.

This version revises the writing test comparisons between 3.0 and 4.0 instead of 3.0 and 3.5

Kathy May 19, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Quite simply, the schools do not provide the teachers, the training nor the materials to teach reading properly. Dumbing-down the system for FCAT scores or grades to cover the inadequacies is obvious.

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