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PRESS RELEASE

May 3, 2006

Russell Schweiss
(850) 488-5394
Cathy Schroeder
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush Announces That Parents Can Now Access Student Scores on the FCAT Parent Network
Innovative website provides parents online access to student FCAT scores

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced that parents of third and twelfth graders can now view their child's Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) reading and mathematics scores on the Internet. The scores were posted this morning. To view test results, families can log on to the FCAT Parent Network at www.fcatparentnetwork.com. This secure site also includes detailed information on the meaning of the scores and provides resources to improve student performance in the future.

"Parents are now able to view the record gains of Florida students online today for the first time ever," said Governor Jeb Bush. "By giving families a direct link to their child's test scores through an accurate, secure and easily accessible resource, we enable them to play a greater role in their child's academic success."

The FCAT Parent Network incorporates technology and state-of-the-art security measures to ensure parents can access their child's scores as soon as they are available. Parents will receive a letter from their child's school with the appropriate login and password information. The website provides parents with scores, resources and additional information on the FCAT in English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole.

The benefits of the FCAT Parent Network include rapid report delivery, security of test data, clarity on the meaning of scores, tools to improve student performance and additional parent resources. This innovative reporting system is provided by the Department of Education as part of a continued effort to deliver educational resources that help parents, students, teachers and administrators meet achievement goals.

"The Department has worked hard to make test scores available as soon as we have finished verifying their accuracy," said Commissioner John Winn. "It is rewarding to know that parents can have FCAT scores without having to wait for the paper reports to be sent home."

The State continues to take steps toward increasing the transparency of the FCAT. Hundreds of printed and online resources related to the FCAT have been available for several years, including annual releases of sample questions and a release of "half tests" in 2001. The FCAT Parent Network and the released tests are additional resources for students and parents. Students and parents are encouraged to use these tests in conjunction with additional FCAT materials provided online to improve performance.

On Monday, Governor Bush and Commissioner Winn announced that Florida's rising student achievement continues with a record number of third graders reading at or above grade level. Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results show three-fourths of all Florida third grade students are reading at or above grade level — the largest number in state history.

Each year, a portion of the FCAT includes a nationally published test, known as the norm referenced test (NRT), which is used to measure how Florida students are performing compared to students nationally. The Stanford 10 is the nationally norm-referenced test used by Florida and serves as an external validation of learning measured by the FCAT. This year, the reading national percentile rank increased from the 50th percentile to the 61st. This means that, on average, third graders scored better than 61 percent of the national comparison sample. In mathematics, the national percentile rank increased from the 62nd percentile to the 67th.

Providing a quality education for each and every student in Florida is Governor Bush's priority and the state's most important mission. Florida's investment in the A+ Plan for Education continues to achieve results. The accountability in Florida's A+ Plan school grading system ensures the state measures the progress of every student in every school each year. Today, more of Florida's students than ever are reading on their own, taking college entrance exams, graduating from high school and earning college degrees.

To learn more about the FCAT Parent Network, please visit www.fcatparentnetwork.com or www.fldoe.org.