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PRESS RELEASE

May 19, 2005

Jacob DiPietre
(850) 488-5394
        or
Melanie Etters
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush and Commissioner Winn Announce FCAT Reading and Mathematics Results For Grades 3 Through 10
More Florida students scoring at or above grade level

TALLAHASSEE - Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John Winn today announced Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) scores for students in grades 3 through 10. While the results show Florida’s students are reading and performing math at higher levels than ever before, they also show tremendous increases compared to those students who were retained in third grade since Florida ended social promotion in 2003.

"The progress shown in this year’s scores is a testament to our teachers and students who have risen above great challenges. Since implementing the A+ Plan for Education in 1999, Florida students have shown steady improvement and are proof that with high standards and accountability our students will far exceed our expectations," Governor Bush said. "The results show continued increases in the early grades and a need for more academic rigor in middle and high school. I hope the Legislature will continue to work with us to prepare all our students for success."

Highlights of the results released today include:

  • 53 percent of Florida third through tenth graders are reading at or above grade level, up from 46 percent in 2001.
  • Only 25 percent of all third through tenth graders are reading at level 1, down from 33 percent in 2001.
  • 59 percent of all third through tenth graders can calculate math at or above grade level, up from 48 percent in 2001.
  • The achievement gap continues to close as well. This year 46 percent of all Hispanic students are reading at or above grade level, up from 35 percent in 2001.
  • 35 percent of African American third through tenth graders are reading at or above grade level, up from 25 percent in

"Our Just Read, Florida! initiative is making a difference," Commissioner Winn said. "Putting our resources into teacher training has had a huge impact. Every year, our students and teachers raise the bar. We also credit this cross-pollination to the improvement of our math scores."

2005 statewide reading results for grades 3-10 students reading at or above grade level:

  • 3rd - 67 percent, an increase from 57 percent in 2001.
  • 4th - 71 percent, an increase from 53 percent in 2001.
  • 5th - 66 percent, an increase from 52 percent in 2001.
  • 6th - 56 percent, an increase from 52 percent in 2001.
  • 7th - 53 percent, an increase from 47 percent in 2001.
  • 8th - 44 percent, an increase from 43 percent in 2001.
  • 9th - 36 percent, an increase from 28 percent in 2001.
  • 10th - 32 percent, a decrease of 5 percent from 2001.

The state’s focus on improved learning has had a pleasant surprise with much higher math scores. The 2005 statewide math results for grades 3-10 students performing at or above grade level:

  • 3rd - 68 percent, an increase from 52 percent in 2001.
  • 4th - 64 percent, an increase from 45 percent in 2001.
  • 5th - 57 percent, an increase from 48 percent in 2001.
  • 6th - 47 percent, an increase from 40 percent in 2001.
  • 7th - 53 percent, an increase from 45 percent in 2001.
  • 8th - 59 percent, an increase from 55 percent in 2001.
  • 9th - 59 percent, an increase from 46 percent in 2001.
  • 10th - 63 percent, an increase from 59 percent in 2001.

This year’s results also prove Florida’s third grade promotion policy is working; retaining struggling readers has had a positive impact on all elementary students. Since ending social promotion in 2003, the group of students who were first retained have scored higher on the FCAT than their counterparts who were not retained.

  • The percent of third through fifth graders scoring at or above grade level has gone up remarkably since ending social promotion, with 69 percent of all third through fifth graders reading at or above grade level, up from 55 percent in 2001.

For more FCAT Reading and Mathematics results for 3rd through 10th, please visit www.myflorida.com or http://fcat.fldoe.org

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