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Assessment and School Performance

All · FCAT 2.0—Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test® 2.0 · Florida End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments · FTCE – Florida Teacher Certification Examinations and FELE – Florida Educational Leadership Examination · NAEP - National Assessment of Educational Progress

FCAT 2.0—Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test® 2.0


1. What is the FCAT 2.0?
   
The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test® 2.0 (FCAT 2.0) is a criterion-referenced test that measures student achievement of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in reading, mathematics, science, and writing. FCAT 2.0 Reading (grades 3 – 10) and Mathematics (grades 3 – 8) were first administered in the spring of 2011, FCAT 2.0 Science (grades 5 and 8) was administered to students for the first time in the spring of 2012, and FCAT 2.0 Writing (grades 4, 8, and 10) will be administered beginning in the spring of 2013. The transition schedule for the FCAT 2.0 is provided on the FCAT 2.0 website.

All Florida schools are required to teach the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, and the FCAT 2.0 will provide parents/guardians, teachers, policy makers, and the general public with an understanding of how well students are learning these standards. The best understanding of a student’s academic achievement comes from looking at multiple pieces of evidence (including test scores) collected over time.




2. When will students take the FCAT 2.0?
   
In accordance with Section 1008.22, Florida Statutes, students will be administered FCAT 2.0 Writing no earlier than the week of March 1st and FCAT 2.0 Reading, Mathematics, and Science no earlier than the week of April 15th each school year. Statewide assessment schedules for the FCAT 2.0 are provided on the FCAT 2.0 website by August 1st one school year prior to testing. The daily session schedules for the current school year are posted in early September.




3. How is the assessment schedule determined each year?
   
Generally, schedules are set to allow for maximum instructional time leading up to the test while leaving enough time for scoring once testing is completed. Section 1008.22, Florida Statutes, stipulates that testing may not begin earlier than the week of March 1st for writing and the week of April 15th for reading, mathematics, and science, and scores must be reported no later than the week of June 8th. The Commissioner may extend the reporting schedule under exigent circumstances. The schedule for 2013-14 was created to allow time for the completion of testing, scoring, and score verification activities, and still adhere to these statutory requirements.




4. How will the statewide assessment program transition from FCAT to FCAT 2.0?
   
Beginning in 2011, FCAT 2.0 Reading was administered to students in grades 3 – 10 and FCAT 2.0 Mathematics was administered to students in grades 3 – 8. In 2012, FCAT 2.0 Science was administered to students in grades 5 and 8. The transition will be complete when FCAT 2.0 Writing is administered to students in grades 4, 8, and 10 in 2013. The schedule for this transition is provided in the document, Transition to Next Generation and Computer-Based Tests in Florida (PDF).


5. Are all students required to take the FCAT 2.0?
   
Public school students are required to participate in the statewide assessment program.

Private school students do not currently participate in the statewide assessment program because it exists to meet federal and state assessment accountability requirements for Florida public schools; however, public school students attending private school through a school choice scholarship program, such as the McKay Scholarship Program or Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program, may take the FCAT 2.0. Private schools that have at least one enrolled FTC Scholarship student will have the opportunity for all students enrolled in the school to participate in the statewide assessments beginning in 2013-14.

Home Education Program students may participate in the appropriate grade-level statewide assessments if they are used as the chosen measure of yearly progress. At the beginning of each school year, parents/guardians must notify the district testing office of their intention to use the FCAT 2.0 as that year's annual measure of their Home Education Program student's progress.

All students with disabilities participate in the statewide assessment program. Students with disabilities participate in the FCAT 2.0 without accommodations or with accommodations, depending on the student's individual educational plan (IEP). A small number of students with disabilities who have an IEP may not be required to take the FCAT 2.0. Only those students who meet the exclusion criteria set forth in State Board Rule 6A-1.0943, Florida Administrative Code, Statewide Assessment for Students with Disabilities, can be excluded from taking the FCAT 2.0. Specifically, students whose demonstrated cognitive ability prevents them from completing the required coursework and achieving the state standards and who require extensive direct instruction to accomplish and transfer skills and competencies needed for domestic, community living, leisure, and vocational activities may be excluded from taking the statewide assessment. If a student meets the requirements described above and the IEP team determines that it is not appropriate for the student to take the FCAT 2.0, the student is required to take the Florida Alternate Assessment. A student for whom the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards are inappropriate will work toward a special diploma. There is also a special exemption from participation in the statewide assessment due to extraordinary circumstances. For additional information about the statewide assessment program as it pertains to students with disabilities, please contact the Bureau of Exceptional Students and Educational Services.

English Language Learners (ELLs) are expected to participate in statewide assessments; however, in accordance with State Board Rule 6A-6.0902, Florida Administrative Code, Requirements for Identification, Eligibility Programmatic and Annual Assessments of English Language Learners, if an ELL has been receiving services in an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program operated in accordance with an approved district ELL plan for one year or less AND a majority of the student's ELL committee determines that it is appropriate, the ELL may be exempt from the FCAT 2.0 Reading administration. Exempt ELL students must still participate in the Comprehensive English Language Learning Assessment (CELLA). Additionally, all ELLs are expected to participate in FCAT 2.0 Writing, Mathematics, and Science no matter how long these students have been receiving services. For additional information about the statewide assessment program as it pertains to ELLs, please contact the Bureau of Student Achievement through Language Acquisition.




6. What happens if a student does not participate in the assessments?
   
Section 1008.22, Florida Statutes, states that testing is mandatory for all students in attendance at a Florida public school; therefore, the only way a student would not participate is if he/she is absent during the entire testing window. If this occurs, the student may be placed in remediation the following school year, and other consequences (such as retention) could result based on the district's Student Progression Plan. In addition, if a student is not assessed, the participation rate for his/her school will be affected and may negatively impact that school's accountability status.


7. May students receive testing accommodations on the FCAT 2.0?
   
Students with disabilities, in accordance with State Board Rule 6A-1.0943, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), are required to be provided with testing accommodations if they meet the following criteria:
  • have been assigned to a special program, according to State Board Rule 6A-6.0331, FAC, and
  • have a current IEP or Section 504 plan outlining the appropriate allowable accommodations that should be used in the classroom and on the statewide assessment to meet the individual needs of the student.

Every effort is made to provide a level playing field for students with disabilities taking the FCAT 2.0 and seeking a standard high school diploma.

English Language Learners (ELLs) are required to receive the appropriate allowable accommodations if they are currently receiving services in a program operated in accordance with an approved district ELL Plan. It is the responsibility of local school educators to work with students and parents/guardians to identify the allowable testing accommodations.




8. Are parents/guardians allowed to review the assessment?
   
Parents/guardians are not permitted to see their student’s actual FCAT 2.0 test book and answers because FCAT 2.0 items may be used on future assessments. Allowing the general public to review the tests would compromise the test items, thereby depleting the supply of test questions for future test administrations. Statewide assessments are confidential under the authority of Section 1008.23, Florida Statutes.


9. How can parents/guardians help their children prepare for the assessment?
   
The FCAT 2.0, like the FCAT, is intended to measure student mastery of Florida’s educational standards. Students who have been actively engaged in the learning process in Florida’s public schools should be prepared for success on the FCAT 2.0 without the need for special coaching or intensive instruction in test-taking strategies. The best way for parents/guardians to help students prepare is by offering support and encouragement for their academic pursuits during the course of the school year. To help students, parents/guardians, and educators understand what the FCAT 2.0 test items will look like, the Department provides FCAT 2.0 Sample Questions and Answer Keys online for public review.


10. How are the FCAT and FCAT 2.0 different?
   
The FCAT measures student achievement of the Sunshine State Standards, while the FCAT 2.0 measures student achievement of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, which are more rigorous grade-level expectations.

The major differences between the FCAT 2.0 and FCAT are listed below.

  • Some test items in Session 2 of Grades 3 and 4 FCAT 2.0 Mathematics require the use of a provided ruler to answer questions. These test items may include measurements in either metric or customary units.
  • Grade 4 FCAT 2.0 Mathematics includes not only multiple-choice test items, but also gridded-response test items.
  • The gridded-response test items in FCAT 2.0 Mathematics for grades 5 through 8 have different grids than those on the FCAT. Additionally, the option for negative answers for gridded-response items is now included for grades 7 and 8.
  • For Grade 5 FCAT 2.0 Mathematics, students are provided a reference sheet that contains information and formulas they may need to complete some test items.
  • FCAT 2.0 Reading includes a greater number of reading passages from the public domain, such as historical documents and works by classical authors.
  • FCAT 2.0 Reading includes a greater number of test items that require reasonable inferences and reasonable prior knowledge.
  • Reference sheets are not provided for Grades 5 and 8 FCAT 2.0 Science, but grade 8 students will receive a Periodic Table of the Elements.
  • FCAT Mathematics was administered at grades 9 and 10, but there are no FCAT 2.0 Mathematics assessments for grades 9 and 10. The Algebra 1 and Geometry End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments have replaced these tests as the high school level mathematics assessments.
  • FCAT Science was administered at grade 11, but there is no Grade 11 FCAT 2.0 Science assessment. The Biology 1 EOC Assessment has replaced the grade 11 test as the high school level science assessment.
  • Due to the expanded expectations for scoring, FCAT 2.0 Writing is administered in a 60-minute test session, whereas FCAT Writing was administered in a 45-minute test session.
  • FCAT 2.0 Reading, Mathematics, and Science do not have any performance task items.
  • Select FCAT 2.0 assessments are administered on the computer (See What FCAT 2.0 assessments are or will be computer-based ?).



11. What FCAT 2.0 assessments are or will be computer-based?
   
In 2013-14, the following FCAT 2.0 assessments will be computer-based: Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading, Grades 5 and 6 FCAT 2.0 Mathematics, and the FCAT 2.0 Reading Retake (fall and spring). Please see the transition schedule for information about future assessments that will transition to computer-based testing. General information can be found on the computer-based testing website.


12. What will students experience when taking the computer-based assessments?
   
Students will be required to participate in a practice test to become familiar with the testing tools and platform prior to the day of testing, and this practice test will be available online for students to practice on their own.

On the day of testing, a student will log in to the test by using the unique username and password information on the student authorization ticket. Once the student is logged in to the test, he or she will not be able to access any other applications on the computer. A student will be able to change his or her answers at any time until the test is submitted by the student. For timed assessments, the test administrator will be responsible for ensuring that the student is provided the appropriate amount of time.

The tools and resources available to students will vary slightly depending on the content area and grade level assessed. All students will have access to the following e-tools:

  • Review: Students may use this e-tool to mark items to be reviewed at a later time. Before exiting the test and submitting their responses, students will be taken to a screen which lists items that are answered, unanswered, and marked for review.
  • Eliminate Choice: Students may use this tool to mark through answer choices that they wish to eliminate.
  • Highlighter: Students may highlight sections of an item or passage.
  • Eraser: Students may use the eraser to remove marks made by the highlighter or the eliminate choice tool.
  • Help: Students may click the Help icon to learn more about the e-tools. The Help text appears in a separate window.

FCAT 2.0 Reading (Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and Retake)

In addition to the tools available to all students, the following tool will be provided:

  • Notepad: Students may use the notepad to make notes on a particular passage or question for later reference. Each passage and question has its own notepad, so any notes a student makes remain with that passage or question.

In addition to this tool, students are also provided with a hard-copy worksheet for note-taking.

FCAT 2.0 Mathematics (Grades 5 and 6)

  • Straightedge: Students are provided a straightedge e-tool, which looks like a ruler without measuring units. Students use the straightedge as they would use the edge of a piece of paper to help them work a problem.
  • Reference Sheet: For Grade 5 FCAT 2.0 Mathematics, students will be provided a reference sheet of commonly used formulas and conversions to work the test questions. This tool is also referred to as the Exhibit tool.

In addition to these tools, students are also provided work folders to use as scratch paper to work the problems.




13. Can a student choose to take a paper-and-pencil version of the assessment instead of the computer-based version?
   
No. All students are required to participate in the computer-based version of the assessment, with the exception of a student with a paper-based accommodation indicated on his or her IEP or Section 504 plan.


14. How are the FCAT 2.0 assessments developed?
   
Professional item writers employed by the Department's test-development contractors prepare the first draft of all test questions or items. Committees of Florida classroom teachers and district curriculum supervisors working with Department staff review and revise each test item. Before a test item appears on the FCAT 2.0, it is field tested and reviewed for community sensitivity and possible bias.

Developing an annual statewide assessment to accurately measure achievement and compare results from one year to the next requires an extensive process involving many people with varied expertise. This process is overseen by the Florida Department of Education and annually integrates the work of the Department's Test Development Center (TDC), outside contractors, and several hundred Florida educators and citizens. Item writers, who are employed by the development contractor, do not write a complete test in any given year. Instead, they write individual items that go through a series of reviews by the contractor, TDC staff, and Florida educators and community members. If items have passed through each review successfully and are accepted, they become part of the item bank. The item bank is a database of items serving as the source for constructing the test each year. The process of test construction involves selecting a set of items from the item bank that meets the established content and statistical guidelines of the test. The operational items on the FCAT 2.0 in any given year are likely to have been written in another year and may appear several times before being retired or released as sample items in FCAT 2.0 interpretive materials for students, teachers, parents/guardians, or the general public.




15. What are test item specifications?
   
FCAT 2.0 Test Item Specifications are the criteria for test item development that are specified by the Department for each subject and grade level. The specifications include the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards benchmarks, the types of items used, guidelines for the relative balance of topics, item formats and complexity levels, plus general guidelines to minimize non-content influences, such as confusing wording or poor graphics.


16. Where can I obtain a copy of the FCAT 2.0 Mathematics reference sheets?
   
FCAT 2.0 Mathematics reference sheets can be found in Appendix H of the FCAT 2.0 Test Item Specifications and in the FCAT 2.0 Mathematics Sample Questions and Answer Keys. For ease of access, links to each reference sheet are also provided below: Please note that students taking the FCAT Mathematics Retake will use the FCAT Mathematics reference sheet found in the 2005 edition of the FCAT Mathematics Test Item Specifications (PDF).


17. How will the FCAT 2.0 Reading, Mathematics, and Science scores be reported?
   
FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics scores are reported by Achievement Levels on the new FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics score scales, which were established by the State Board of Education on December 19, 2011. FCAT 2.0 Science scores also will be reported by Achievement Levels, which were established by the State Board of Education on December 12, 2012.
  • FCAT 2.0 Scale Scores: During the fall of 2011, a vertical scaling study was conducted so that performance can be compared across all grade levels for FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics as it was for the FCAT. The new FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics score scales, which are also referred to as developmental score scales, range from 140 to 302 for FCAT 2.0 Reading and from 140 to 298 for FCAT 2.0 Mathematics. (Passing score requirements for the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment and promotion requirements for the Grade 3 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment are explained in question 20.) The new Grades 5 and 8 FCAT 2.0 Science score scales range from 140 to 260. Since science is not tested at each grade level, FCAT 2.0 Science scores are reported as scale scores and not as developmental scale scores. Additional information regarding the purpose of developmental scale scores is provided in the Parent Information Sheet: Developmental Scale Scores (PDF).
  • Content Area Scores: Content area scores provide the actual number of raw score points earned out of the number of points possible for each reporting category. Reporting categories represent groups of similar student skills, or benchmarks, which are assessed within each grade level and subject. The state mean for each reporting category allows for comparisons to average performance statewide.
  • Achievement Levels: The success a student has achieved with the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards assessed by the FCAT 2.0 is described by Achievement Levels that range from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). Level 3 indicates satisfactory performance. The tables below provide the developmental scale score range for each FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics Achievement Level and the scale score range for each FCAT 2.0 Science Achievement Level. Students who entered grade 9 in the 2010-11 school year and beyond must earn an Achievement Level 3 or higher in order to pass Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading for graduation purposes. Scoring at or above Achievement Level 3 on the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading indicates that the student is on a pathway to college and career readiness.

Achievement Levels for the FCAT 2.0 Reading Developmental Scale Scores (140 to 302)

Grade Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
3
140-181
182-197
198-209
210-226
227-260
4
154-191
192-207
208-220
221-237
238-269
5
161-199
200-215
216-229
230-245
246-277
6
167-206
207-221
222-236
237-251
252-283
7
171-212
213-227
228-242
243-257
258-289
8
175-217
218-234
235-248
249-263
264-296
9
178-221
222-239
240-252
253-267
268-302
10
188-227
228-244
245-255
256-270
271-302

Achievement Levels for the FCAT 2.0 Mathematics Developmental Scale Scores (140 to 298)

Grade Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
3
140-182
183-197
198-213
214-228
229-260
4
155-196
197-209
210-223
224-239
240-271
5
163-204
205-219
220-233
234-246
247-279
6
170-212
213-226
227-239
240-252
253-284
7
179-219
220-233
234-247
248-260
261-292
8
187-228
229-240
241-255
256-267
268-298

Achievement Levels for the FCAT 2.0 Science Scale Scores (140 to 260)

Grade Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
5
140-184
185-199
200-214
215-224
225-260
8
140-184
185-202
203-214
215-224
225-260



18. How will FCAT 2.0 Writing scores be reported?
   
FCAT 2.0 Writing results will be reported on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 6 (highest). Two trained raters independently score each essay. The score reported is the average of both raters' scores. The scoring guidelines, or rubrics, used to evaluate FCAT 2.0 Writing essays may be accessed on the Department's website. The rubrics describe what is required for each possible score point for each grade level. Additional information regarding scoring for FCAT 2.0 Writing is provided in the 2014 FCAT 2.0 Writing Frequently Asked Questions (PDF).


19. How were FCAT Equivalent Scores determined for the FCAT 2.0?
   
Student results for the 2011 FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics, Fall 2011 FCAT 2.0 Reading Retake, and 2012 FCAT 2.0 Science were reported on the existing FCAT score scales as FCAT Equivalent Scores, which are defined in Understanding FCAT 2.0 Reports (PDF). The equipercentile method was used to link scores on the FCAT 2.0 to the existing FCAT score scales by linking scores that have the same percentile rank from the new FCAT 2.0 assessments to the previously administered FCAT assessments (i.e., the 2011 FCAT 2.0 assessments were linked to the 2010 FCAT assessments). Additional information about how the 2012 FCAT 2.0 Science scores were determined through the equipercentile method is provided in the document 2012 Equipercentile Linking: FCAT 2.0 Science (PDF).


20. What is the passing score for the FCAT 2.0?
   
Students who entered grade 9 in the 2009-10 school year and thereafter must earn a passing score on the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment as a graduation requirement. The passing score is set according to the year the student entered grade 9. The passing requirements are explained in the bullets below. Options exist for graduating seniors and are explained in the document, Students who entered grade 9 in the 2009-10 school year and thereafter must earn a passing score on the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading as a graduation requirement. The passing score is set according to the year the student entered grade 9. The passing requirements are explained in the bullets below. Options exist for graduating seniors and are explained in the document, Graduation Requirements for Florida's Statewide Assessments (PDF). A score of 262 on the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment demonstrates readiness for college-level coursework in the curriculum area. Students who achieve this score and enroll in a Florida College System institution within two years are exempt from taking the Florida Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT).
  • Students who entered grade 9 in the 2009-10 school year must earn passing scores on Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading and Grade 10 FCAT Mathematics, or their equivalent. The required passing scores for students entering grade 9 in the 2009-10 school year are provided in the table below (prior to the spring 2012 test administration, FCAT 2.0 scores were reported as FCAT Equivalent Scores).

Passing Scores for Students Entering Grade 9 in 2009-10

FCAT 2.0 Reading FCAT 2.0 Reading: FCAT Equivalent Score FCAT Mathematics
241 or above
(Beginning in spring 2012)
1926 (scale score of 300) or above
(Used in spring and fall 2011)
1889 (scale score of 300) or above

  • For students who entered grade 9 in the 2010-11 school year and thereafter, the passing score for all assessments required for high school graduation (FCAT 2.0) or for course credit (EOC assessments) is the minimum scale score in Achievement Level 3 (see the Florida EOC Assessment FAQs for information regarding passing requirements for EOC assessments). Students entering grade 9 in the 2010-11 school year and thereafter must pass the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment by earning a score of 245 or higher. Options exist for graduating seniors and are explained in the document, Graduation Requirements for Florida's Statewide Assessments (PDF).

In addition to the passing requirement in grade 10, students in grade 3 must score in Achievement Level 2 or higher on FCAT 2.0 Reading, on a scale of 1 - 5, to be promoted to grade 4. Good cause exemptions are available for grade 3 students who do not meet this requirement and are stipulated in Section 1008.25, Florida Statutes.

There are no passing scores for Grade 3 FCAT 2.0 Mathematics and Grades 4 – 9 FCAT 2.0 Reading, Mathematics, Science, and Writing assessments, but students must score in Level 3 or above for their performance to be considered satisfactory.




21. What promotion options are available for grade 3 students who have not passed the FCAT 2.0?
   
For promotion to grade 4, there are six good cause exemptions for students scoring at a Level 1 on the Grade 3 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment, and they include:
  • English Language Learners (ELLs) who have had less than two years of instruction in an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program;
  • students with disabilities whose IEP indicates that participation in the statewide assessment program is not appropriate, consistent with the requirements of State Board of Education Rule;
  • students who demonstrate an acceptable level of performance on an alternative standardized reading assessment approved by the State Board of Education;
  • students who demonstrate, through a student portfolio, that the student is reading on grade level as evidenced by demonstration of mastery of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards in reading equal to at least a Level 2 performance on the FCAT 2.0;
  • students with disabilities who participate in the FCAT 2.0 and who have an IEP or a Section 504 plan that reflects that the student has received intensive remediation in reading for more than two years but still demonstrates a deficiency in reading and was previously retained in kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3; and
  • students who have received intensive remediation in reading for two or more years but still demonstrate a deficiency in reading and who were previously retained in kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2, or grade 3 for a total of two years.

The grade 3 good cause exemptions are stipulated in Section 1008.25, Florida Statutes, which also requires districts to implement a policy for the midyear promotion of retained grade 3 students. For additional information regarding good cause exemptions or midyear promotion for retained grade 3 students, please contact your school district’s reading coordinator or the Just Read, Florida! Office.




22. What options are available to high school seniors who have not passed the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment?
   
Options available to high school seniors who have not passed the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment include continuing opportunities to take the test until they pass it, opportunities to take the SAT or ACT to earn concordant passing scores, the option of earning a General Education Diploma (GED), or the opportunity to enroll in any community college in the state with a Certificate of Completion by taking the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (P.E.R.T.) or the College Placement Test (CPT). Students who enter a community college with a Certificate of Completion may continue to retake the FCAT 2.0 or take the SAT or ACT to earn the passing scores required for a high school diploma. For more information about concordant scores and these options, consult the document, Graduation Requirements for Florida’s Statewide Assessments (PDF).


23. How many times can a high school student retake the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment prior to graduation?
   
Students who have not passed the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment have up to four additional opportunities to pass it before graduation. Students who do not pass the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment in the spring of their 10th grade year may retest in the fall and spring of their 11th and 12th grade years. Students who have not successfully passed the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment prior to their expected graduation may retake the test during scheduled administrations as many times as necessary until they pass it.


24. Do students receive remediation based on their FCAT 2.0 scores?
   
Yes. Middle grades remediation requirements relating to the FCAT 2.0 Reading and Mathematics assessments are stipulated in Section 1003.4156, Florida Statutes, and high school grades remediation requirements relating to the FCAT 2.0 are stipulated in Section 1003.428, Florida Statutes. For information about these requirements as they relate to FCAT 2.0 Reading, please contact your district’s reading coordinator or the Just Read, Florida! Office. For information about these requirements as they relate to FCAT 2.0 Mathematics, please contact your school district’s mathematics coordinator or the Office of Mathematics and Science in the Bureau of Curriculum and Instruction.


25. What does the FCAT 2.0 cost to administer, score, and report results?
   
The cost per scored test for the 2011-12 school year was $13.37, and the cost per student was $30.59. This includes all costs associated with FCAT 2.0 Reading (grades 3-10 and Retake), FCAT 2.0 Mathematics (grades 3-8), FCAT 2.0 Science (grades 5 and 8), and development of FCAT 2.0 Writing (grades 4, 8, and 10). This also includes all costs associated with FCAT Writing (grades 4, 8, and 10), FCAT Reading/Mathematics Retakes, and all Florida End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments currently administered and in development (Algebra 1, Biology 1, Geometry, U.S. History, and Civics). The costs include development of test questions, holding review meetings with Florida educators, field testing, production of computer-based, paper-based, and accommodated tests, printing of tests, shipping and return of test materials, scoring, reporting scores to parents/guardians, schools, districts, and the State, sample test materials, test administration materials/manuals, and analyses and research.


26. Who is the FCAT 2.0 contractor?
   
NCS Pearson, Inc., is the current FCAT 2.0 contractor responsible for development, administration, and scoring activities.


27. What is the legislative authority for the FCAT 2.0?
   
The legislative authority for the statewide assessment program is articulated in Section 1008.22, Florida Statutes.

Florida End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments


1. What are the Florida End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments?
   
The Florida EOC Assessments are designed to measure student achievement of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for specific courses, as outlined in the course descriptions. These assessments are part of Florida's Next Generation Strategic Plan for the purpose of increasing student achievement and improving college and career readiness. The first assessment to begin the transition to end-of-course testing in Florida was the 2011 Algebra 1 EOC Assessment. Biology 1 and Geometry EOC Assessments were administered for the first time in spring 2012, and the U.S. History EOC Assessment was administered for the first time in spring 2013. The Civics EOC Assessment will be administered for the first time in spring 2014. The transition schedule (PDF) for end-of-course testing is provided on the Florida EOC Assessments website.


2. What is the legislative authority for the Florida EOC Assessments?
   
The purpose and design of the statewide assessment program can be found in Chapter 1008, Part II, Florida Statutes. Language pertaining to Florida EOC Assessments may be found in Section 1008.22, Florida Statutes. The 2010 Legislature authorized the Florida EOC Assessments with the passage of Senate Bill 4.


3. What subject areas are tested by EOC assessments?
   
In the 2013-14 school year, students enrolled in Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology 1, and U.S. History will take EOC assessments aligned to the following high-school-level courses:
  • Algebra 1 EOC Assessment – Course Number 1200310, Algebra 1
  • Geometry EOC Assessment – Course Number 1206310, Geometry
  • Biology 1 EOC Assessment – Course Number 2000310, Biology 1
  • U.S. History EOC Assessment – Course Number 2100310, United States History

In the 2013-14 school year, middle grades students enrolled in Civics will take the Civics EOC Assessment aligned to Course Number 2106015, M/J Civics.




4. Are there plans for additional EOC assessments at this time?
   
Not at this time.


5. Which students will participate in the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment in the 2013-14 school year?
   
All students enrolled in and completing the following courses must take the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment:
  • Algebra 1 – 1200310
  • Algebra 1 Honors – 1200320
  • Algebra 1B – 1200380
  • Pre-AICE Mathematics 1 – 1209810
  • IB Middle Years Program – Algebra 1 Honors – 1200390

In addition, the following students are eligible to participate in an Algebra 1 EOC Assessment administration:

  • Students who need to earn a passing score for graduation purposes
  • Students who have not yet taken the assessment to be averaged as 30 percent of their course grade
  • Students who are in grade forgiveness programs and wish to retake the assessment to improve their course grade
  • Students in a credit acceleration program (CAP) who wish to take the assessment to earn course credit
  • Private school and out-of-state students who will enroll in a Florida public school



6. Which students will participate in the Biology 1 EOC Assessment in the 2013-14 school year?
   
All students enrolled in and completing the following courses must take the Biology 1 EOC Assessment:
  • Biology 1 – 2000310
  • Biology 1 Honors – 2000320
  • Pre-AICE Biology – 2000322
  • Biology Technology – 2000430
  • Biology 1 PreIB – 2000800
  • IB Middle Years Program Biology Honors – 2000850
  • Integrated Science 3 – 2002440
  • Integrated Science 3 Honors – 2002450

In addition, the following students are eligible to participate in a Biology 1 EOC Assessment administration:

  • Students who need to earn a passing score for a standard diploma with a Scholar designation
  • Students who have not yet taken the assessment to be averaged as 30 percent of their course grade
  • Students who are in grade forgiveness programs and wish to retake the assessment to improve their course grade
  • Students in a credit acceleration program (CAP) who wish to take the assessment to earn course credit
  • Private school and out-of-state students who will enroll in a Florida public school



7. Which students will participate in the Geometry EOC Assessment in the 2013-14 school year?
   
All students enrolled in and completing the following courses must take the Geometry EOC Assessment:
  • Geometry – 1206310
  • Geometry Honors – 1206320
  • IB Middle Years Program Geometry Honors – 1206810
  • Pre-AICE Mathematics 2 – 120982

In addition, the following students are eligible to participate in a Geometry EOC Assessment administration:

  • Students who have not yet taken the assessment to be averaged as 30 percent of their course grade
  • Students who are in grade forgiveness programs and wish to retake the assessment to improve their course grade
  • Students in a credit acceleration program (CAP) who wish to take the assessment to earn course credit
  • Private school and out-of-state students who will enroll in a Florida public school



8. Which students will participate in the U.S. History EOC Assessment in the 2013-14 school year?
   
All students enrolled in and completing the following courses must take the U.S. History EOC Assessment:
  • United States History – 2100310
  • United States History Honors – 2100320
  • Visions and Countervisions: Europe, U.S. and the World from 1848 – 2100390
  • Visions and Countervisions: Europe, U.S. and the World from 1848 Honors – 2100480

In addition, the following students are eligible to participate in a U.S. History EOC Assessment administration:

  • Students who need to earn a passing score for a standard diploma with a Scholar designation
  • Students who have not yet taken the assessment to be averaged as 30 percent of their course grade
  • Students who are in grade forgiveness programs and wish to retake the assessment to improve their course grade
  • Students in a credit acceleration program (CAP) who wish to take the assessment to earn course credit
  • Private school and out-of-state students who will enroll in a Florida public school



9. Which students will participate in the Civics EOC Assessment in the 2013-14 school year?
   

All middle grades students enrolled in and completing one of the following courses must take the Civics EOC Assessment:

  • Civics – 2106010
  • Civics – 2106015
  • Civics & Career Planning – 2106016
  • Civics, Advanced – 2106020
  • Civics, Advanced – 2106025
  • Civics, Advanced & Career Planning – 2106026
  • Civics and Digital Technologies – 2106029
  • M/J U.S. History & Civics—2100045



10. Are EOC assessments computer-based or paper-based?
   
For the majority of students, the EOC assessments are computer-based. Exceptions are made for students with disabilities who need to take EOC assessments on paper.


11. When do students take the EOC assessments?
   
During the first school year of implementation, each EOC assessment will be administered at the end of the spring semester. After the first school year of implementation, each EOC assessment will be administered at the conclusion of both the fall and spring semesters to accommodate courses that conclude at the end of each semester. In addition to the winter and spring administrations, a summer administration will take place for each EOC assessment.

Statewide assessment schedules are provided on the Department’s website by August 1st one school year prior to testing. The 2013-14 administration schedule for the Algebra 1, Biology 1, Geometry, U.S. History, and Civics EOC Assessments is available at http://info.fldoe.org/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-6453/clarif1213release1314a.pdf (PDF).

The schedule for transitioning to EOC assessments is provided in the document, Transition to Next Generation and Computer-based Tests in Florida (PDF).




12. Are all students required to take the EOC assessments?
   
Public school students are required to participate in the statewide assessment program.

Private school students planning to transfer to the public school system may participate in the EOC assessments in order to satisfy public school graduation requirements. Public school students attending private schools through the use of a school choice scholarship, such as the McKay Scholarship Program or Florida Tax Credit (FTC) Scholarship Program, may take the EOC assessments. Private schools that have at least one enrolled FTC Scholarship student will have the opportunity for all students enrolled in the school to participate in the statewide assessment program beginning in 2013-14. (PDF)

Home Education Program students may participate in the appropriate statewide assessments if they are used as the chosen measure of yearly progress. At the beginning of each school year, parents/guardians must notify the district testing office of their intention to use an EOC assessment as that year’s annual measure of their Home Education Program student’s progress in a course.

Students with disabilities who have an individual educational plan (IEP) may have the EOC assessment results waived for the purpose of determining the student’s course grade. To be considered for an EOC assessment results waiver, the student must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Be identified as a student with a disability, as defined in Section 1007.02(2), Florida Statutes,
  2. Have an active individual educational plan,
  3. Have taken the EOC assessment with appropriate allowable accommodations at least once, and
  4. Have demonstrated, as determined by the IEP team, achievement of the course standards.

For additional information about the statewide assessment program as it pertains to students with disabilities, please contact the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services.

English Language Learners (ELLs) are expected to participate in EOC assessments. Although certain ELLs may be exempt from the FCAT 2.0 Reading assessment, in accordance with the guidelines set forth in State Board of Education Rule 6A-6.0902, Florida Administrative Code, Requirements for Identification, Eligibility Programmatic and Annual Assessments of English Language Learners, this exemption only applies to the comprehensive assessment of reading. All ELLs are expected to participate in the EOC assessments scheduled for implementation. For additional information about the statewide assessment program as it pertains to ELLs, please contact the Bureau of Student Achievement through Language Acquisition.




13. What will students experience when taking the computer-based EOC assessments?
   
First-time test takers will be required to participate in a practice test session scheduled by their school to become familiar with the testing tools and platform prior to the day of testing, and a practice test will be available online for students to practice on their own. Because of differences between the content areas, students must participate in a practice session for each assessment they will take.

On the day of testing, a student will use the unique username and password information assigned to the student on the student authorization ticket to log in to the assessment. Once the student is logged in to the testing platform, he or she cannot access any other applications on the computer. Assessment content and student responses will be secure and saved in an encrypted format. A student can change his or her answers at any time until the assessment is submitted by the student. Student scores will be provided as determined by the Department and are not available immediately upon completion of the assessment.

The tools and resources available to students will vary depending on the content area assessed. Students taking a computer-based assessment have access to the following e-tools, which are also called CBT tools, in the computer-based platform.

All Florida EOC Assessments

  • Review: Students may use this e-tool to mark items to be reviewed at a later time. Before exiting the assessment and submitting their responses, students will be taken to a screen which identifies questions that are answered, unanswered, and marked for review.
  • Eliminate Choice: Students may use this tool to mark through answer choices that they wish to eliminate.
  • Highlighter: Students may use this tool to highlight sections of a question or reading passage.
  • Eraser: Students may use the eraser to remove marks made by the highlighter or the eliminate-choice tool.
  • Help: Students may click the Help icon to learn more about the e-tools.

Algebra 1, Biology 1, and Geometry EOC Assessments

  • Calculator: Students will be provided access to a calculator, which appears in a pop-up window. For Algebra 1 and Biology 1, students use a four-function calculator. For Geometry, students use a scientific calculator.
  • Exhibit: For Algebra 1 and Geometry, students will be provided a reference sheet of commonly used formulas and conversions to work the problems. For Biology 1, students will be provided with a Periodic Table of the Elements. The reference sheet and the periodic table appear in a pop-up window under the exhibit icon. Students also will be provided with directions for completing fill-in response questions (Algebra 1 and Geometry) and a diagram and helpful hints for the appropriate calculator under the exhibit icon.
  • Straightedge: Students will be provided a straightedge tool, which looks like a ruler without measuring units. Students will use the straightedge as they would use the edge of a piece of paper to help work a problem.

In addition to these tools, students taking the Algebra 1, Biology 1, and Geometry EOC Assessments are also provided work folders to use as scratch paper. Schools may permit students to use approved hand-held calculators, and schools can also provide paper versions of the reference sheet and periodic table.

U.S. History and Civics EOC Assessments

  • Notepad: Students may use the notepad to make notes on a particular question for later reference. Each question has its own notepad, so any notes a student makes remain with that question. In addition, students are provided with a CBT worksheet to make notes.

Additional information is provided on the computer-based testing website.




14. How will the EOC assessment scores be reported?
   
Florida EOC Assessments will be reported using scale scores and Achievement Levels. However, the Department cannot establish the Achievement Levels until a baseline test administration has occurred. This means that when an EOC assessment is administered for the first time (such as the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment in spring 2011), the reporting of student assessment results are limited to T-scale scores, as well as statewide means and other normative data (see How will the EOC assessment scores be reported prior to establishing the Achievement Levels and passing scores?). On December 19, 2011, the State Board of Education established the score scale and Achievement Levels for the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment. On December 12, 2012, the State Board of Education established the score scales and Achievement Levels for the Biology 1 and Geometry EOC Assessments. On January 22, 2014, the State Board of Education established the score scale and Achievement Levels for the U.S. History EOC Assessment. The score scale and Achievement Levels for the Civics EOC Assessment will be available in 2015.

Achievement Levels for the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment Scale Scores (325 to 475)

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
(Passing)
Level 4 Level 5
325-374 375-398 399-424 425-436 437-475

Achievement Levels for the Biology 1 EOC Assessment Scale Scores (325 to 475)

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
(Passing)
Level 4 Level 5
325-368 369-394 395-420 421-430 431-475

Achievement Levels for the Geometry EOC Assessment Scale Scores (325 to 475)

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
(Passing)
Level 4 Level 5
325-369 370-395 396-417 418-433 434-475

Achievement Levels for the U.S. History EOC Assessment Scale Scores (325 to 475)

Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
(Passing)
Level 4 Level 5
325-377 378-396 397-416 417-431 432-475

Performance in Achievement Level 3 indicates satisfactory performance. Scoring at or above Achievement Level 4 indicates the student is high achieving and has the potential to meet college-readiness standards by the time the student graduates from high school.




15. Where can I access the statewide assessment schedules?
   
The statewide assessment schedules are posted on the Department’s website at http://www.fldoe.org/asp/schedule.asp.


16. What is the passing score for the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment?
   
The passing score for the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment is 399.


17. What is the passing score for the Biology 1 EOC Assessment?
   
The passing score for the Biology 1 EOC Assessment is 395.


18. What is the passing score for the Geometry EOC Assessment?
   
The passing score for the Geometry EOC Assessment is 396.


19. What is the passing score for the U.S. History EOC Assessment?
   

The passing score for the U.S. History EOC Assessment is 397.




20. When will Achievement Levels be available for the Civics EOC Assessment?
   
The scale-score ranges for the Civics EOC Assessment Achievement Levels will be identified through a standard-setting process in fall 2014. The Civics EOC Assessment Achievement Levels will be available in 2015.


21. How will the EOC assessment scores be reported prior to establishing the Achievement Levels and passing scores?
   
Each time a new EOC assessment is administered for the first time (such as the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment in spring 2011), the reporting of student assessment results will be limited to scale scores, as well as statewide means and other normative data. Students will receive a score on a scale of 20-80. This scale is a special scale known as a T-score scale. On this scale, a score of 50 is at the statewide average. Individual Student Reports (ISRs) will indicate whether the student’s score falls within the high, middle, or low levels as compared to other students in Florida who took the assessment. School districts will be required to determine how to appropriately use these scale scores as 30% of student final course grades.


22. Will districts receive the EOC assessment student results in time for report cards?
   
In any year, this will be dependent upon the last day of school in each district and their timeline for generating report cards. Up to two weeks will be needed to score each EOC assessment after testing has been completed for each subject. In addition, s. 1008.22, F.S., gives the Commissioner the authority to extend the reporting schedule under exigent circumstances.


23. May a student who is subject to the 30% course grading requirement retake an EOC assessment to improve his or her course grade?
   
Yes; however, this option is only available to students who are eligible to do so under the grade forgiveness policies of their school district.


24. Are comparative scores established for the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment?
   
On September 17, 2013, the State Board of Education established a comparative score for the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment. The score that may be used to satisfy the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment portion of a student’s graduation requirements is a score of 97 on the mathematics portion of the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT). Students entering grade 9 in the 2011-12 school year and later must pass the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment or achieve a comparative score as part of their graduation requirements.


25. Are parents/guardians allowed to review the test?
   
EOC assessment items will be used on future assessments. Allowing the general public to review the items would compromise the validity of the tests, thereby depleting the supply of test items for future test administrations. Statewide assessments are confidential under the authority of Section 1008.23, Florida Statutes.


26. How can I learn more about the EOC assessments?
   
To learn more about the content of the EOC assessments, individuals may review the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards, the description of the course for which the EOC assessment is required, and the Florida End-of-Course Assessment Test Item Specifications. Links to these and additional resources may be found on the Florida End-of-Course Assessment website. The Standards and course descriptions specify the expectations for student learning in Florida and provide the basis for the content that will be measured on each EOC assessment. The Florida End-of-Course Assessment Test Item Specifications provide information regarding the content and format of the assessments as well as sample test items for each benchmark assessed. Sample computer-based practice tests, also called ePATs, for the Algebra 1, Biology 1, Geometry, U.S. History, and Civics EOC Assessments may be downloaded on PearsonAccess.


27. Where do I obtain the reference sheets for the Algebra 1 and Geometry EOC Assessments?
   
The same reference sheet is provided for both the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment and the Geometry EOC Assessment. This reference sheet is posted at http://fcat.fldoe.org/eoc/pdf/algebra1.pdf and may be found in the appendices of the Algebra 1 EOC Assessment Test Item Specifications (PDF) and the Geometry EOC Assessment Test Item Specifications (PDF).


28. What do the Florida EOC Assessments cost to administer, score, and report results?
   
The cost per scored test for the 2011-2012 school year was $13.37, and the cost per student was $30.59. This includes all costs associated with Florida EOC Assessments currently administered and in development (Algebra 1, Biology 1, Geometry, U.S. History, and Civics), as well as costs associated with FCAT 2.0 Reading (grades 3-10, and Retake), FCAT 2.0 Mathematics (grades 3-8), FCAT 2.0 Science (grades 5 and 8), development of FCAT 2.0 Writing (grades 4, 8, and 10), FCAT Writing (grades 4, 8, and 10), and FCAT Reading/Mathematics Retakes. The costs include development of test questions, holding review meetings with Florida educators, field-testing, production of computer-based, paper-based, and accommodated tests, printing of tests, shipping and return of test materials, scoring, reporting scores to parents/guardians, schools, districts, and the State, sample test materials, test administration materials/manuals, and analyses and research.


29. Who is the Florida EOC Assessments contractor?
   
NCS Pearson, Inc., is the current EOC contractor responsible for development, administration, and scoring activities.

FTCE – Florida Teacher Certification Examinations and FELE – Florida Educational Leadership Examination


1. Scoring: What is the percentage of correct answers required to pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) and the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE)?
   
The table that can be accessed through the link below is provided as a courtesy to applicants taking the FTCE and FELE. Because the number of questions, or correct answers, needed to pass a multiple-choice examination may vary slightly from one form of the examination to another, the Florida Department of Education (DOE) can only provide general guidelines about how many questions must be answered correctly in order to pass. Therefore, the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table shows the maximum percentage of questions that must be answered correctly in order to pass the forms of each examination that are currently being administered.

In addition, it is possible that the percentages shown for some examinations will not reflect the most recent information available, due to the time delay that occurs in creating new Web pages to update this table. Even so, the percentages shown in the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table will give you a clear idea of how well you will need to perform in order to pass. As new forms are developed and put into use, this table will be updated to reflect the maximum percentage required to pass each multiple-choice examination. (See question numbers two through seven for additional information.)




2. Scoring: How do I interpret the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table (accessed through question number one) to determine the maximum percentage required to pass an examination?
   
The numbers shown in the left hand column of the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table represent the maximum percentage of correct answers needed to pass. For example, if 71% is the maximum percentage of correct answers needed to pass any form of a particular subject area examination (SAE) currently being administered, then a slightly more difficult form of that SAE might require only 70% of correct answers in order to achieve a passing score. For this reason, the table shows the maximum percentage needed to earn a passing score on any form of a test currently being used.


3. Scoring: How do I interpret scores for examinations that have performance components such as oral or written requirements?
   
For examinations that include written or oral performance components, percentages are not provided because scoring these examinations involves a more complex process to arrive at “combination scores” or “part scores.” One result of this is that on performance-based examinations, several different combinations of multiple-choice and performance test scores may result in the same passing scale score of 200 for the FTCE. Additional information regarding performance-based examinations is provided underneath the FTCE/FELE Maximum Percentages Needed to Achieve a Minimum Passing Score Table, which can be accessed through question number one.


4. Scoring: What are FTCE and FELE scale scores?
   
The raw score and percentage correct on the FTCE and FELE are converted to a common measure called a scale score. Reporting on a scale allows multiple forms of a test to be equated and the minimum passing score to be set at a common point (e.g., 200).


5. Scoring: What are the minimum passing scale scores for the FTCE and FELE?
   
The minimum passing scale score for all of the FTCE is 200. The minimum passing scale scores for FELE are 200 for Subtest 1 and Subtest 2, and a combination (multiple choice and written performance assessment) scaled score of 200 for Subtest 3.


6. Scoring: Why are teacher certification scores reported as pass or fail?
   
Many licensure and certification authorities across the country have begun providing only pass/fail results. One reason for this is that licensure and certification examinations are designed to focus precise measurement at the “cut-score,” or minimum passing score. Another reason for reporting only pass/fail results is to prevent numeric scores from being used inappropriately. For example, numeric scores for licensure and certification examinations should not be used to decide who is hired or promoted, or who is eligible for advanced training because the exams are not designed for these purposes.


7. Scoring: Why does the number of questions needed to pass an examination vary slightly from one administration to the next?
   
The number of correct answers needed to pass an examination will vary based on the difficulty level of questions used on a given form of the examination. This means that different forms of each examination must be “equated” to adjust for any differences in difficulty. Equating is a common practice used in some form by most large-scale testing programs to equalize form difficulty. In plain terms, examinees must answer more questions correctly on an easier form of a test than on a more difficult form in order to achieve the same passing scale score of 200 for the FTCE.


8. General Knowledge Test: Why is the Mathematics Subtest of the General Knowledge Test required to obtain a professional Florida teaching certificate for someone who will not be teaching mathematics education?
   
The Florida Legislature and the Department of Education set the requirements for certification. Although some people may not use formal algebra and geometry in their daily life, these and other mathematical skills are considered by the Department to be an important part of an educator’s professional teaching credentials. This test of basic skills will provide an underlying baseline for a teacher’s future career, which might include teaching at another level or working in administrative positions.


9. General Knowledge Test: How can I waive the Math Section of the General Knowledge Test?
   
The Florida Legislature has determined that the quality of a teacher’s basic mathematics education is an important part of the overall level of teaching excellence in Florida. The requirement for basic mathematics skills appears in Section 1012.56, (3) (a-e), Florida Statutes, which addresses educator certification requirements; Section 1012.56, (8) (f) addresses the General Knowledge Test. The Mathematics subtest provides a basic foundation for all mathematics instruction for teachers at all levels of teaching, including elementary school. The mathematics competencies and skills tested on the General Knowledge Test are aligned by law to the Sunshine State Standards; the content of the Mathematics subtest represents a minimum level of what is expected of Grade 10 students in Florida. The current testing requirements were mandated by the Florida Legislature, and there is no provision in law for waiving or exempting the requirements.


10. General Knowledge Test: How can I prepare for the Mathematics subtest of the General Knowledge Test?
   
The FTCE and FELE tests are Pass/Fail tests. Examinees that pass a test will see a “PASS” on their score report. Examinees that do not pass will receive a numerical score. To find out approximately what percentage of test items examinees need to answer correctly to receive a passing score on any test or subtest, including the General Knowledge Test, consult the chart on the Department’s postsecondary testing Web site, http://www.fldoe.org/asp/ftce/pdf/percentpass.pdf.

If examinees have difficulty passing the general knowledge examination, they have the option to enroll in a state college of education or educator preparation institution to take classes that cover general knowledge concepts tested. More information about the state colleges of education can be found at http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/teachprep/teachprep.asp; information about educator preparation institutions in Florida can be found on the FTCE Learning Portal.

The Department publishes a test information guide for the General Knowledge Test that identifies the skills that it tests. Examinees may order a General Knowledge Test information guide online at www.fl.nesinc.com or use the order form that is published in the FTCE/FELE Registration Bulletin. You may call our office at (850) 245-0513 to obtain a copy. The guide gives a brief overview of the test, provides the competencies and skills that are tested, and presents some sample items. It is not intended to replace coursework. Careful study of the skills should guide examinees as to what areas are needed to be reviewed. The Department is not authorized or funded to provide teaching materials for the test; it is assumed that a person with a bachelor’s degree will have the required level of knowledge.

Examinees may examine incorrect test items in order to identify any scoring errors by registering for a score verification session. The request must be made within 30 days of the mailing of the score reports for the test or subtest in question.




11. General Knowledge Test: Why is the Essay portion of the General Knowledge Test required to obtain a professional Florida teaching certificate for someone who will not be teaching language arts?
   
The Florida Legislature and the Department of Education set the requirements for certification. Although some people may not utilize formal technical writing skills in their daily life, these and other basic language skills are considered by the Department to be an important part of an educator’s professional teaching credentials. This test of basic skills will provide an underlying baseline for a teacher’s future career, which might include teaching at another level or working in administrative positions.


12. General Knowledge Test: How can I waive the Essay portion of the General Knowledge Test?
   
The Florida Legislature has determined that the quality of a teacher’s basic language arts education is an important part of the overall level of teaching excellence in the State of Florida. The requirement for basic writing skills appears in 1012.56, Section 3 (a-e) of Florida Statutes, which addresses educator certification requirements; 1012.56, Section 8 (f) addresses the general knowledge examination. The General Knowledge Essay demonstrates that educator candidates have a basic foundation for all writing instruction for teachers at all levels of teaching, including elementary school. Please understand that the writing competencies and skills tested on the General Knowledge Test are aligned by law to the Sunshine State Standards; the content of the General Knowledge Essay represents a minimum level of what is expected of Grade 10 students in the State of Florida. The current testing requirements were mandated by the Legislature, and there is no provision in law for waiving or exempting the requirements.


13. General Knowledge Test: How can I prepare for the General Knowledge Essay?
   
The FTCE and FELE tests are Pass/Fail tests. Examinees that pass a test will see a “PASS” on their score report. Examinees that do not pass will receive a numerical score. To find out approximately what percentage of test items examinees need to answer correctly to receive a passing score on any test or subtest, including the General Knowledge Test, consult the chart on the Department’s postsecondary testing Web site, http://www.fldoe.org/asp/ftce/pdf/percentpass.pdf.

If an examinee has difficulty passing the general knowledge examination, they have the option to enroll in a state college of education or educator preparation institution to take classes that cover general knowledge concepts that will be tested. More information about the state colleges of education can be found at http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/teachprep/teachprep.asp; information about educator preparation institutions in Florida can be found on the FTCE Learning Portal.

The Department publishes a test information guide for the General Knowledge Test that identifies the skills that it tests. Examinees may order a General Knowledge Test information guide online at www.fl.nesinc.com or use the order form that is published in the FTCE/FELE Registration Bulletin. You may call our office at (850) 245-0513 to obtain a copy. The guide gives a brief overview of the test, provides the competencies and skills that are tested, and presents some sample items. It is not intended to replace coursework. Careful study of the skills should guide examinees as to what areas are needed to be reviewed. The Department is not authorized or funded to provide teaching materials for the test; it is assumed that a person with a bachelor’s degree will have the required level of knowledge.

The score for the GK Essay is a separate subtest score that requires a minimum score of 6 out of 12 points to pass. The scoring of the GK Essay is conducted in a standardized session held for a particular examination and scored by at least two independent, qualified and trained raters. The two independent scores are combined for a final GK Essay score. If an examinee fails one or more GK subtests, the examinee is required to re-take only the subtests failed. For example, if an examinee passes the GK Reading, ELS, and Math, but fails the GK Essay, then he/she must re-take the GK Essay, but not the GK Reading, ELS, or Math.




14. Fees: Why were the FTCE/FELE fees increased?
   
Historically, the Department has been able to keep the examinee test fees low because a large portion of the money used for developing and administering tests has been drawn from general revenue funds allocated by the legislature. Beginning September 1, 2009, the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) and Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) fees will support all test development, test administration, and scoring services. The FTCE examinations are designed by Florida educators and are aligned with the Next Generation Sunshine State Curriculum Standards as well as other teacher standards.

The Department maintains one of the most technologically advanced and customer-oriented teacher certification testing programs in the world.

Additional services paid for by the fees include:

  • 24 computer-based testing centers statewide for customer convenience;
  • customer service representatives available from 8AM to 6PM Monday through Friday, excluding holidays;
  • 4 locations statewide where examinees can review the test questions that they miss if they failed an examination;
  • availability of all 50 FTCE examinations at computer-based testing centers
  • personal score retrieval via the Internet; and
  • diagnostic reporting services for colleges of education and educator preparation institutes.




15. Fees: Are there funds that may assist teachers with test fees?
   
Title I-A funds (available only to Title I schools for the purposes of recruiting highly qualified teachers) and Title II-A funds (available districtwide) may assist teachers with test fees, preparation programs, stipends, substitute teachers, and other needs. However, use of these funds is based on a district needs assessment and the direction of the school board.


16. Pilot Testing: If I participate in a pilot test, does it affect my scores in any way?
   
No. Pilot test results will not affect the scores of any FTCE or FELE examination you have taken or may be taking in the future. Pilot test scores will not be reported to your institution, school district, or the Florida Department of Education.


17. Contractor: Who is the official contractor working with the Department of Education on the FTCE and FELE?
   
Evaluation Systems group of Pearson is the FTCE/FELE contractor.


18. Test Development: Does the Department endorse the recruitment of Subject Matter Experts for FTCE test development meetings?
   
Yes. For more information on participating in test development meetings, go to http://www.floridacertexam.nesinc.com.


19. Test Content: How many questions are on each examination, and how much time is allotted for each test?
   
Please refer to the PDF, FTCE/FELE Testing Time and Number of Questions.


20. Social Security Number: Why does the FTCE/FELE registration application request my Social Security Number and how will it be used?
   
In order to be eligible for certification, educator candidates demonstrate competency in general knowledge, subject area knowledge, and professional education by passing educator examinations. The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) and Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE) program collects examinees’ Social Security numbers (SSNs) via the registration application for these exams. The FTCE/FELE program uses the SSNs to match examinee scores with educator certification records that contain SSNs as required by Section 1012.56, Florida Statutes. Examinees’ SSNs are used for internal purposes only and are on score reports released to institutions and school districts as designated by the examinee. SSNs are not released to other third parties.

NAEP - National Assessment of Educational Progress


1. What is NAEP?
   
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is often referred to as The Nation’s Report Card. It is the only continuing, nationally representative, state-comparable measure of what our Nation’s students know and can do in core subjects. Because NAEP supplies a biennial benchmark, it can be used by educators, parents, the public, policy makers, and researchers to track how the nation, states, and Trial Urban Districts (TUDAs) perform when assessed on the NAEP Assessment Frameworks. The results are widely reported by national and local media.

NAEP is congressionally mandated and was first administered in 1969 to measure student achievement nationally. Since that time, NAEP assessments have been conducted in numerous academic subjects, including the arts, civics, economics, geography, mathematics, reading, science, U.S. history, and writing. Since 1990, NAEP has reported results for states as well as the nation. Since 2002, NAEP results have been reported for certain large urban districts (TUDAs).

NAEP measures, compares, and reports changes in student achievement in 50 states, 21 TUDAs, and other jurisdictions based on national-, state-, and district- (for TUDAs only) representative samples of students in grades 4, 8, and 12. National results include students enrolled in public and private schools; however, state results only include students enrolled in public schools.

NAEP provides reliable “snapshots” of education at the time of each assessment and across time, and identifies and compares gaps between groups of students. NAEP also offers the following:

  • Achievement-level information on nationally representative samples of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in the arts, civics, economics, geography, mathematics, reading, science, U.S. history, and writing.
  • Achievement-level information on state-level samples of students in grades 4 and 8 in mathematics, reading, science, and writing
    • Florida also receives grade 12 state-level results in mathematics and reading.
  • Achievement-level information for 21 TUDAs on samples of students from grades 4 and 8 in reading and mathematics
    • Florida has three TUDAs – Duval, Hillsborough and Miami-Dade Counties
  • Long-term Trend Assessment results in reading and mathematics at ages 9, 13, and 17




2. What is the Legislative Authority for NAEP?
   
NAEP is a federally authorized assessment that is also mandated by Florida Statute. As part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2001 (No Child Left Behind), all schools receiving Title I funds are required to participate in NAEP. The exact wording of the legislation can be found in Public Law 107-110 Title 1 Part A, Section 1111.

NAEP is authorized in Florida by Florida State Statute 1008.22(2), NAEP is included as part of Florida’s state testing program because it provides comparative state and national information about student achievement in mathematics, reading, science, and writing.




3. What is required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act of 2001?
   
Legislation requires that:
  • NAEP Mathematics and Reading assessments be used as national indicators of student mathematics and reading achievement at grades 4 and 8
  • Mathematics and reading assessments be administered biennially in grades 4 and 8, beginning in 2003
  • Districts included in the sample be required to participate in NAEP if they receive Title I funding
  • States receiving federal education funds establish a goal for educational improvement, along with a set of state designed and administered tests for measuring performance towards those goals; the NAEP assessments complement the state assessments

NCLB also states that:

  • The federal government will pay for the administration of all state NAEP assessments
  • A state participating in the biennial mathematics and reading assessments is deemed to have given its permission to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) to release its results and data
  • There will be no rewards or sanctions to states, local education agencies, or schools based on state NAEP results
  • Participation in NAEP is not a substitute for a state’s own assessment of its students in grades 3-8 in mathematics and reading
  • Participation in NAEP is voluntary for students, but required for schools




4. Who is responsible for administering NAEP?
   
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the U.S. Department of Education is responsible for managing the NAEP project. The Commissioner of NCES is responsible for ensuring that NAEP tests do not question test takers about personal or family beliefs or make information about the personal identity of test takers publicly available. After students complete the assessment, their name labels are removed from the booklets in order to preserve student anonymity.

The independent, non-partisan National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) oversees and sets policy for NAEP, including selecting the subject areas to be assessed. The assessment is administered to students by NAEP staff.




5. What is NAGB?
   

The National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) is an independent, bipartisan group whose members include governors, state legislators, local and state officials, educators, business representatives, and members of the general public. Congress created the 26-member Governing Board in 1988 to set policy for NAEP. The Secretary of Education appoints NAGB board members, but the board is independent of the U.S. Department of Education. Since 1990, NAGB has set levels of achievement—Basic, Proficient, and Advanced—to provide a gauge of how well student achievement matches what students are expected to know and be able to do at different grade levels.

NAGB develops policies regarding the NAEP assessment and is responsible for the following:

  • Guiding the development of NAEP frameworks and determining the content to be assessed
  • Selecting subject areas to be assessed
  • Setting appropriate student achievement levels to provide a measure of how well students’ performance reflects what they are expected to know and be able to do at grades 4, 8, and 12
  • Developing assessment objectives and test specifications that produce a valid and reliable assessment, and are based on widely accepted professional standards
  • Developing assessment methodology
  • Developing guidelines for reporting and disseminating results
  • Developing standards and procedures for state and national comparisons
  • Determining appropriateness of assessment items and ensuring that they are free from bias
  • Taking actions to improve the form, content, and use of the national assessment




6. Why is NAEP administered?
   
NAEP is administered because it accomplishes the following:
  • Serves as a benchmark based on national levels of proficiency
  • Reports national- and state-level results for all students in selected subject areas at a given time and across time, as well as by race/ethnicity, eligibility for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), students with disabilities (SD), English language learners (ELL), and gender
  • Assesses student performance reflecting current educational and assessment practices
  • Enables the nation, states, and TUDAs to compare current year results and trend comparisons over time



7. What is the basis of NAEP?
   

Each NAEP assessment is built around an organizing framework that serves as both a guide for the development of an assessment tool and determines the content to be assessed in a specific subject area. The frameworks are not meant to serve as a national curriculum, but rather as a broadly accepted outline of what the national assessment should test.

Frameworks are developed through a comprehensive and inclusive national consensus process involving hundreds of teachers, curriculum experts, policymakers, business representatives, and members of the general public. Educational practices, the results of educational research, and changes in curricula are also considered.

Frameworks provide a basic conceptual structure or vision of how to capture data on what students should know and be able to do. After a framework is approved by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), the framework is used to develop an assessment. This same procedure is followed for each of the subjects NAEP assesses.




8. What unique benefits does NAEP provide to Florida?
   
  • Is the only source of national and state-comparable student achievement data
  • Shows comparisons with other states and the nation
  • Monitors progress over time
  • Provides a wealth of information at no cost to the state
  • Presents a minimal burden on the schools
  • Requires no test preparation
  • Places Florida’s state results in national and international contexts



9. What types of items and formats does NAEP include?
   
NAEP is a criterion-referenced assessment. Approximately half of a student’s testing time is allotted to multiple-choice items, with the remaining half devoted to constructed-response items. Also, half of the students assessed in science participate in hands-on or computer-based tasks as well as the paper-and-pencil portion of the assessment. The writing assessment includes two prompts and has been administered as a pilot computer-based assessment at grades 4, 8, and 12. NAGB’s goal is to administer reading and mathematics as operational assessments on tablets by 2017.


10. Who participates in NAEP?
   
Depending on the test and subjects, a representative sample of students is selected from grades 4, 8, and 12 or, for the Long-term Trend study, ages 9, 13, and 17. Each participating student takes only a small portion of the overall assessment. Depending on the size of the school, all students may be selected; if the school is large, NAEP will only take a sample. Student participation in NAEP is voluntary, and parents/guardians must be notified that they may decline to have their student participate in part or in its entirety. Parent/guardian refusals must be in writing. The participation of all selected students enables NAEP to provide the most accurate and representative picture of student performance. Each participating student represents hundreds of similar students. These students represent the geographical, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity that is Florida’s student body.


11. How are schools and students selected to participate in NAEP?
   
As The Nation’s Report Card, NAEP must report accurate results for populations of students and subgroups of these students (e.g., minority students, students from low-income families). To ensure accurate results, the relatively small samples of students must be truly representative of the entire student population in the state.

NAEP uses a process called “probability sampling” to select a representative sample of Florida students. Probability sampling is based on

  • Extent of urbanization
  • Percentage of minority enrollment
  • School standing on statewide achievement tests
  • Socioeconomic status of the students

The relative emphasis on each characteristic varies by state, as some states are more diverse than others.

After the stratification process, systematic sampling is utilized to choose the samples of schools. For national assessments not involving state-by-state samples (even-numbered years), regions of the country are also considered.

Once the schools are selected, a representative sample of students within each school is selected using a probability sampling design. The goal is to ensure that the resulting sample of students contains a representative cross-section of the student population in the state. Within a selected school, all students within a participating grade have an equal chance of being selected. The probability of a student and school being selected as part of the sample varies based on factors such as:

  • Grade
  • Subject
  • Public and private school status
  • School size

These probabilities are important in producing NAEP results, and NAEP takes them into account in the calculation of results through the process of applying sampling weights. The overall goal of the sampling process is that every eligible student within the state has the same probability of selection. Also, if a student or school is sampled for participation in NAEP, there is no effect on their future probability of selection. Being selected one year does not affect the chance of being chosen the next year.

If a school is chosen repeatedly to participate in NAEP, typically it is because the school has more than about 1 percent of the state’s student enrollment in the selected grade. Other schools, with approximately .5 to 1 percent of the enrollment, are selected frequently though not always. Smaller schools may be selected repeatedly in states whose student population in a grade is too small to meet NAEP sample size.

Sampling produces accurate estimates of student achievement while reducing the amount of time and cost to administer and score the assessment. Administering NAEP to all students in a state or the nation would be very expensive, especially as NAEP includes many constructed-response questions that are costly to score.

NAEP does not report results for individual students, schools, or districts, except for the 21 Trial Urban Districts. Therefore, it is not necessary to assess and report results for every student in every school. If the student population in the grade being assessed is less than the sample size set for that assessment at that grade (will vary from year to year), the school can elect to have all the students included in the sample. If it is over the allowed maximum number, then the students are randomly sampled. It is possible for grade 4 and grade 8 students from the same school to be selected, but the samples are independent of one another and will not be assessed on the same day.

For complete coverage of the subject being assessed, several hundred assessment questions are needed. Testing all students on the entire collection of questions that comprise each NAEP assessment is too time-consuming and impractical. Hence, no single student in the sample takes the entire assessment.




12. Do students with disabilities (SD) and/or English language learners (ELL) receive accommodations for NAEP?
   
Students with disabilities (SD) and English language learners (ELL) who participate in Florida’s statewide assessments are required to participate in NAEP, unless NAEP does not allow an accommodation specified in an IEP, Section 504 plan, or ELL plan.

Only ELLs who have been enrolled in a United States school for less than 12 months may be excluded from any NAEP assessment. All other ELLs should participate in NAEP using appropriate accommodations.

The accommodations most frequently used for NAEP include:

  • Extended time
  • Breaks during testing
  • Individual or small group administrations
  • Large print booklets
  • Heritage language-to-English dictionary without definitions (not allowed for the reading assessment)
  • Read aloud in English (not allowed for the reading assessment)

In March 2010, NAGB adopted a policy designed to achieve the following:

  • Maximize participation of sampled students in NAEP
  • Reduce variation in exclusion rates for SD and ELL students across states and districts
  • Develop uniform national rules for including students in NAEP
  • Ensure that NAEP is fully representative of SD and ELL students

The policy states that

  • The proportion of all students excluded from any NAEP sample should not exceed 5%
  • Among students classified as either ELL or SD, the goal is 85% inclusion



13. When is NAEP administered?
   
National, state, and TUDA NAEP are administered biennially in odd-numbered years, between the last week in January and the first week in March. In Florida, Duval, Miami-Dade and Hillsborough County Public Schools participate in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) program. Field tests are often administered during the same timeframe in the even-numbered years. Every four years, during even-numbered years, the Long-term Trend (LTT) is administered to 13-year-old students in the fall, 9-year-old students in the winter, and 17-year-old students in the spring.


14. How much time does it take to administer NAEP?
   

Paper-and-Pencil Assessment
Students spend up to 90 minutes participating in NAEP. The block of time is broken down into:

  • 15 minutes for directions
  • Two 25-minute cognitive blocks for completion of subject area questions
  • 20 minutes to complete student questionnaires

Technology Based Assessment
Students spend up to 120 minutes participating in NAEP. The block of time is broken down into:

  • 15 minutes for directions
  • 60 minutes on between one and six sections of scenario-based tasks (SBTs), Interactive Computer Tasks (ICTs), Hands-on Tasks (HOTs), or stand-alone blocks of multiple-choice/constructed-response (MC/CR) questions
  • 20 minutes to complete student questionnaires

The assessment must be completed in one day.




15. Do students receive individual NAEP results?
   
No. There are no individual student, school, or district results (unless the district is one of the 21 TUDAs, in which case district results are provided). Only a sample of Florida’s grade 4, 8, and 12 students at a sample of Florida’s schools in a sample of Florida’s districts participate in NAEP, and each participating student takes only a small portion of the overall assessment.


16. When and how are NAEP results released?
   
The National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) is required to release the biennial main NAEP results in mathematics and reading within six months of the assessment’s ending date, usually by mid-October. This occurs in the odd-numbered years. TUDA results are released approximately one month later. NCES produces numerous publications that provide assessment results at the national, state, and TUDA level. The results are posted at The Nations Report Card website. Web-based tools that can be used to analyze results include the NAEP Data Explorer, NAEP State Comparisons Tool, and NAEP Item Maps.


17. How are NAEP results used?
   
NAEP results are used by policymakers, state and local educators, principals, teachers, and parents to improve state and federal education policy, including appropriations issues. Also, a great deal of education research is conducted using NAEP data.


18. Are the NAEP results available on the Internet?
   
Yes. The NAEP Data Explorer (NDE) analyzes NAEP results and provides educators, researchers, government officials, parents, students, and the media access to detailed results. In addition, the NDE creates statistical tables and graphs that answer questions about the academic performance of the nation’s students and factors that relate to student learning.


19. How are NAEP scores reported?
   
The results of NAEP are released as The Nation’s Report Card. The report cards provide national-, state-, and TUDA-level results, results for different demographic groups, results on scale scores and achievement levels, and results for sample questions. Scores and percentages reported are based on samples of students rather than on entire populations. Differences between scale scores or between achievement level percentages are discussed only when they are significant from a statistical perspective. Comparisons between groups are based on statistical tests that consider both the size of the differences and the standard errors of the two statistics being compared.

NAEP scores are reported in two ways.

Scale Scores
Scale scores provide a comparison of student performance with regard to a group (e.g., the nation) or a subgroup (e.g., ELL) on a set of items.

A below Basic achievement level is for those students whose scores fall below the cut score for Basic.

  • The scale score range for reading and mathematics is 0-500
  • The scale score range for science and writing is 0-300

Scale scores are reported as:

  • Averages
  • Percentiles (10th, 25th, 50th, 75th, 90th)

Achievement Levels
NAEP Achievement Levels (ALs) identify what students should know and be able to do at each grade assessed. Results show how different groups are performing in relation to each other and over time. The AL categories are Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. Each level is determined by cut points established by professional educators and the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB).

A below Basic achievement level is for those students whose scores fall below the cut score for Basic. NAGB believes that all students should reach the Proficient level.

NAEP AL descriptions:

  • Advanced – Superior performance
  • Proficient – Solid academic performance for each grade assessed
    • Students reaching this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter, including subject-matter knowledge, application of such knowledge to real-world situations, and analytical skills appropriate to the subject matter
  • Basic – Partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at each grade

Whereas states often define "proficiency" as solid grade-level performance, NAEP's policy definition of its "Proficient" achievement level is "competency over challenging subject matter" and is implicitly intended to indicate higher than grade-level performance. States often define Basic as adequate for promotion. NAEP defines Basic as less than mastery of but more than minimal competency in a subject.

NAEP provides results about subject-matter performance, instructional experiences, and school environment, and reports these results for populations of students (e.g., fourth-graders) and groups of those populations (e.g., male students, Hispanic students). NAEP does not provide individual student, class, or school results.

Because NAEP average scale scores and achievement levels are developed independently for each subject, student performance cannot be compared across subjects. However, these reporting metrics facilitate performance comparisons within a subject from year to year and from one group of students to another in the same grade.

Differences in results—statistical significance
Estimates in the reports and on the website all have a margin of error associated with them. These margins of error are called standard errors, and the sizes of the standard errors influence the results of statistical tests. Comparisons over time or between groups are based on statistical tests that consider both the size of the differences between the estimates and the standard errors of the two estimates being compared. Estimates based on smaller groups are likely to have larger standard errors. When an estimate has a large standard error, a numerical difference that seems large may not be statistically significant. Standard errors for all results are available in the NAEP Data Explorer.




20. How many times has NAEP been administered?
   
Prior to 1990, NAEP reported only national results. The years and types of assessments administered between 1969 and 1988 are shown below.

Year & Type of Assessment

  • 1969-70 - Citizenship, Science, and Writing
  • 1970-71 - Literature and Reading
  • 1971-72 - Music and Social Studies
  • 1972-73 - Mathematics and Science
  • 1973-74 - Career/Occupational Development and Writing
  • 1974-75 - Art, Index of Basic Skills, and Reading
  • 1975-76 - Citizenship/Social Studies and Mathematics
  • 1976-77 - Basic Life Skills and Science
  • 1977-78 - Consumer Skills and Mathematics
  • 1978-79 - Art, Music, and Writing
  • 1979-80 - Reading, Literature, and Art
  • 1981-82 - Mathematics, Science, Citizenship, and Social Studies
  • 1984 - Reading and Writing
  • 1986 - Computer Competence, U.S. History, Literature, Mathematics, Science, and Reading
  • 1988 - Civics, Document Literacy, Geography, U.S. History, Reading, and Writing

NAEP state assessments began in 1990 as the NAEP Trial State Assessment (TSA). The grade(s) for which Florida received state-level results are indicated with an asterisk (*). There are national results for all of the assessments noted in the list below.

The years and types of assessments administered between 1990 and 2013 are shown in the list below. Florida did not participate in state NAEP in 2000 because that was the first year the FCAT was administered in grades 3 through 10.

Year & Type of Assessment

  • 1990 - Mathematics, grades 4, 8*, and 12; Long-term Trend
  • 1992 - Reading, grades 4*, 8, and 12; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Long-term Trend
  • 1994 - Reading, grades 4*, 8, and 12; Geography, grades 4, 8, and 12; U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12; Long-term Trend
  • 1996 - Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Science, grades 4, 8*, and 12; Long-term Trend
  • 1997 - Arts, grade 8
  • 1998 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Writing, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Civics, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1999 - Long-term Tend
  • 2000 - Reading, grade 4; Mathematics, grades 4, 8, and 12; Science, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2001 - Geography, grades 4, 8, and 12; U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2002 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Writing, grades 4*, 8*, and 12
  • 2003 - Reading, grades 4* and 8; Mathematics, grades 4* and 8*
  • 2004 - Long-term Trend
  • 2005 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; Science, grades 4*, 8*, and 12; High School Transcript Study
  • 2006 - Civics and U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12; Economics, grade 12
  • 2007 - Reading, grades 4*and 8*; Mathematics, grades 4* and 8*; Writing, grades 8* and 12
  • 2008 - Long-term Trend; Arts, grade 8
  • 2009 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Science, grades 4*, 8*, and 12
  • 2010 - U.S. History, Civics, and Geography, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2011 - Reading, grades 4* and 8*; Mathematics, grades 4* and 8*; Science, grade 8*; Writing, grades 8 and 12
  • 2012 - Long-term Trend; Writing, grade 4; Economics, grade 12
  • 2013 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Technology and Engineering Literacy, grade 8
  • 2014 – U.S. History, Civics, and Geography, grades 4, 8 and 12; Technology and Engineering Literacy, grade 8
  • 2015 – Reading, grades 4*, 8* and 12; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8* and 12; Science, grades 4*, 8* and 12; Technology-Based Assessment, grades 4, 8 and 12




21. What is the schedule for future administrations of NAEP?
   
The schedule below was approved by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) on August 3, 2013. The asterisk (*) indicates the years and grades for which Florida will receive state-level results.
  • 2016 - Long-term Trend, ages 9, 13 and 17; Arts, grade 8
  • 2017 - Reading, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Mathematics, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*; Writing, grades 4*, 8*, and 12*



22. Have NAEP assessment items been released?
   
Yes. After every assessment cycle, NAEP releases a portion of the main assessment. The NAEP Questions Tool (NQT) provides easy access to NAEP questions, student responses, and scoring guides. This tool also provides state and district as well as national results on all released NAEP items. The NQT allows users to print selected questions and all their relevant information. The purpose of the tool is to provide teachers, researchers, and educators greater access to NAEP assessment items to facilitate understanding of and preparation for state assessments as well as NAEP.

Below is a list, by subject and grade, of questions that were released between 1990 and 2015.

Year, Subject & Grade

  • 1990 - Mathematics, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1992 - Mathematics and Reading, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1994 - Reading and U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1996 - Mathematics, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 1998 - Civics, Reading, and Writing, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2000 - Science, grades 4, 8, and 12; Reading, grade 4
  • 2001 - Geography and U.S. History, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2002 - Reading and Writing, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2003 - Mathematics and Reading, grades 4 and 8
  • 2004 - Long-term Trend Reading and Mathematics, ages 9, 13, and 17
  • 2005 - Mathematics, Reading, and Science, grades 4, 8, and 12
  • 2006 - Economics, grade 12; Civics and U.S. History, grade 4, 8, and 12
  • 2007 - Mathematics and Reading, grades 4 and 8; Writing, grades 8 and 12
  • 2008 - Long-term Trend Reading and Mathematics, ages 9, 13, and 17
  • 2009 - Science, Mathematics, and Reading, grades 4, 8 and 12
  • 2010 - Civics, U.S. History, and Reading, grades 4, 8, grade 12; Mathematics, grade 12
  • 2011 - Mathematics and Reading, grades 4 and 8
  • 2012 - Science, grade 8
  • 2013 – Mathematics and Reading, grades 4, 8 and 12
  • 2015 – Civics, Geography, and U.S. History, grades 4, 8 and 12 (spring release)




23. What is the history of the NAEP program?
   
For a history of NAEP, refer to Historical Chronology of NAEP (PDF).


24. How does NAEP compare to Florida’s statewide assessments?
   
The primary purposes of Florida’s statewide assessments are to improve classroom instruction, to serve as an accountability tool for assessing student achievement of the Florida Standards Assessments in mathematics and reading and the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS), in science, and to measure progress of individual students, schools, districts, and the state towards adequate yearly progress (AYP) goals. Reports of Florida’s statewide assessment results do not provide comparisons to the results of other states or the nation.

NAEP measures students’ cumulative knowledge and not necessarily what they were taught in the current school year. NAEP state-level assessments are administered to representative samples of grade 4, 8, and 12 students. The primary purposes of NAEP are to enable states to monitor their progress over time and to compare results with those of other states and across the nation. NAEP does not report scores for individual students, schools, or districts (except for the 21 Trial Urban Districts).

In each administration of NAEP, samples of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 take only one subject and only a portion of the test in that one subject. Within the subject area, students are given a sample of questions. The test is timed and the total actual time on the test is about an hour. Approximately half of the questions are multiple-choice and the other half are extended-response.

The methodology of sampling, the methods of testing, the assessment frameworks, the criteria for performance levels, and reporting scales for each subject in NAEP are different from Florida’s; therefore, there is no direct method for comparing results. NAEP state results can be used to confirm findings regarding student performance based on statewide assessment results, however, comparing the results of Florida’s statewide assessments with those of NAEP should only be done after carrying out a thorough examination of the differences between the tests so the limitations of the comparisons are well understood. The two assessments differ in

  • Purpose
  • Testing context
  • Content assessed and item characteristics
  • Score scale
  • Proficiency-level standards/Basic-level standards
  • Motivation level of students (Florida's statewide assessments are high-stakes tests while NAEP is not)
  • Students assessed (Florida's statewide assessments test all students; NAEP assesses only a sample of students at a sample of schools)

Users should understand that the Florida’s statewide assessments and NAEP provide different, unique perspectives on the academic progress of Florida students, and together they help paint a more complete picture of students’ academic accomplishments.

Florida’s NCLB Accountability Workbook includes the following chart showing the relationship between NAEP and the FSA achievement levels:

FSA Achievement Levels & NAEP Achievement Standards

  • Level 5 - Advanced
  • Level 4 - Proficient
  • Level 3 - Basic
  • Levels 1 and 2 - below Basic




25. Where can I get additional information about NAEP?
   
If you are looking for information that you have not been able to find on this website, or on The Nation’s Report Card, you can submit a question or comment via Contact NAEP.