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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 FCAT Writing
Nearly ninety percent of students continue to score 3.0 or higher in writing

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner Jim Horne today announced the results of the writing portion of the 2004 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) for students in grades 4, 8, and 10. Performance in writing remained high, with nearly ninety percent of all students attaining a score of 3.0 or better.

"Today's results show we are ready to raise standards in writing, and I commend the State Board of Education for doing so," said Governor Bush. "Writing and reading are so closely linked, and I look forward to seeing Florida's students continue to grow in both these areas."

Nearly 90 percent of students attained a score of 3.0 or higher. The percent of 4th graders scoring above 3.0 remained constant, while the percent of 10th graders scoring above 3.0 rose. The percent of 8th graders scoring above 3.0 dipped slightly.

  • 4th Grade - Percent of students scoring above 3.0 remained at 90 percent in 2004, the highest level in state history, up from 66 percent in 1999.

  • 8th Grade - Percent of students scoring above 3.0 dipped slightly from 91 percent in 2003 to 89 percent in 2004, but still up from 82 percent in 1999.

  • 10th Grade - Percent of students scoring above 3.0 rose from 88 percent in 2003 to 90 percent in 2004, up from 83 percent in 1999.

"When it comes to writing, our investment in Florida's teachers, who have used data-driven instruction to help our students improve their skills, is paying off," said Commissioner Horne.

Average FCAT writing scores rose from 2003 levels for 4th graders, went down slightly for 8th graders and remained the same for 10th graders.

  • 4th Grade - Average score increased from 3.6 in 2003 to 3.7 in 2004, the highest level in state history, up from 3.1 in 1999.

  • 8th Grade - Average score dipped from 3.9 in 2003 to 3.8 in 2004, up from 3.4 in 1999.

  • 10th Grade - Average score maintained at 3.8 in 2004, up from 3.6 in 1999.

Printed reports, including individual student reports, school reports (list of student scores), district reports (list of school averages), and state reports (list of district averages) will be delivered to school districts this week. Districts will also receive an electronic data file on writing results. The Guide to the 2004 Writing Results (examples of scores for parents) and Florida Writes! (examples of scores for teachers) will be available in districts in mid-May.

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