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PRESS RELEASE

April 26, 2004

Alia Faraj
(850) 488-5394

Frances Marine or
MacKay Jimeson
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush and Education Commissioner Horne Announce Results of the Norm-Referenced Portion of the FCAT
Florida exceeds the national average on the NRT in nearly all grades

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner Jim Horne today announced the results of the 2004 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) norm-referenced test (NRT) in reading and mathematics for students in grades 4 through 10. Grade 3 results on the NRT were released last week. The performance of Florida students on the NRT continues to exceed the national average (50th percentile) at all grade levels except high school reading.

"While I am pleased to see that Florida's students continue to improve, our results show a need for more academic rigor in middle school," said Governor Bush. "I encourage the Legislature to continue to work with us to prepare all of our students for success."

While the FCAT is designed to assess how well students are mastering the Florida-specific Sunshine State Standards, the NRT portion of the FCAT allows us to gauge how Florida's students are performing in skills tested across the country. In reading, national percentile ranks improved at all grades except 7, 9 and 10.

Median ranks in reading were as follows:

  • Grade 3 - Median rank of 62, up from 49 in 2000.
  • Grade 4 - Median rank of 63, up from 56 in 2000.
  • Grade 5 - Median rank of 56, up from 45 in 2000.
  • Grade 6 - Median rank of 54, up from 43 in 2000.
  • Grade 7 - Median rank of 57, up from 48 in 2000.
  • Grade 8 - Median rank of 60, up from 54 in 2000.
  • Grade 9 - Median rank of 44, up from 38 in 2000.
  • Grade 10 - Median rank of 45, up from 33 in 2000.

In mathematics, national percentile ranks improved at all grades except 5 and 10, where students maintained a high level of performance. Median ranks in mathematics were as follows:

  • Grade 3 - Median rank of 68, up from 56 in 2000.
  • Grade 4 - Median rank of 69, up from 57 in 2000.
  • Grade 5 - Median rank of 63, back to 2000 level after dipping to 59 in 2001.
  • Grade 6 - Median rank of 66, up from 55 in 2000.
  • Grade 7 - Median rank of 67, up from 48 in 2000.
  • Grade 8 - Median rank of 66, up from 56 in 2000.
  • Grade 9 - Median rank of 69, up from 52 in 2000.
  • Grade 10 - Median rank of 66, up from 54 in 2000.

"Through the hard work of teachers and a focus on reading, Florida's students continue to score above the national average on the Norm Referenced Test," said Commissioner Horne. "High standards and accountability are yielding encouraging results across the board."

Next year, Florida will begin using the Stanford Achievement Test 10 as the norm-referenced portion of the FCAT. It will replace the Stanford Achievement Test 9, which has been used in Florida since 2000.

Districts will receive FCAT Norm-Referenced Test scores in reading and mathematics this week. Full FCAT results are expected the second week of May.

For results, please visit: http://fcat.fldoe.org/.