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PRESS RELEASE

April 27, 2005

Melanie Mowry Etters
(850) 245-0413

Governor Jeb Bush Announces Results of FCAT Writing

More than half of Florida's students score 4.0 or higher in writing

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John Winn today announced the results of the writing portion of the 2005 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) for students in grades 4, 8, and 10. The results this year show more students are scoring at higher levels than in previous years.

"Despite the challenges posed this year to our teachers and students by the unprecedented 2004 Hurricane Season, the FCAT writing results released today illustrate Florida students continue to improve," Governor Bush said. "I applaud Florida's teachers for not only embracing higher standards this year in the face of daunting circumstances, but also preparing students to achieve beyond expectations."

Governor Bush's A+ Plan for Education raised standards and expectations for student achievement. Last November the State Board of Education followed the lead of the A+ Plan by raising the FCAT writing standard 3.0 to 3.5, for purposes of school grading. The FCAT writing portion is graded on a scale of 1 to 6. The 2005 statewide average writing score for fourth grade is 3.7, eighth grade is 3.8, and tenth grade is 3.8.

  • 4th Grade - Percent of students scoring 4.0 and above increased from 49 percent last year to 55 percent in 2005, up from 19 percent scoring 4.0 or above in 1999.
  • 8th Grade - Percent of students scoring 4.0 or above jumped from 55 percent last year to 58 percent in 2005, up from 31 percent scoring 4.0 or above in 1999.
  • 10th Grade - Percent of students scoring 4.0 or above increased slightly from 62 percent last year to 63 percent in 2005, up from 43 percent scoring 4.0 or above in 1999.

"Writing is a core skill and part of the foundation for a student's continued success throughout their education," Commissioner Winn said. "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."

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) have been delivered to school districts this week. Districts will also receive an electronic data file of student writing scores. Florida Writes! (examples of scores for teachers) will be available in districts in mid-May.

For FCAT writing results online, please visit www.fldoe.org.