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PRESS RELEASE

May 23, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Commissioner Blomberg Announces FCAT Results for Reading and Mathematics for Third Through 10th Grade and Science for Grades 5, 8, and 11

~Students statewide continue to make long-term gains in reading, mathematics and science~

TALLAHASSEE – Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg today announced Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results for grades three through 10 in reading and mathematics and grades 5, 8 and 11 in science. Elementary, middle and high school levels all showed improvement in reading and mathematics compared to scores in 2001. Student achievement in grades 5, 8 and 11 all showed improvement in science compared to past years.

“Measuring the academic progress of our students is a critical step in determining their educational needs,” said Commissioner Blomberg. “Each year’s test results give us the ability to highlight academic success, identify opportunities for improvement and focus our resources where they are needed the most.”

Reading and Math Gains for All Levels

Overall, 57 percent of students in grades 3 through 10 are reading at or above grade level (Level 3 and above) compared to 47 percent in 2001. Sixty-two (62) percent of Florida students are demonstrating mathematics skills at or above grade level (Level 3 and above) compared to 50 percent in 2001. Scores for each level:

Elementary School (Grades 3 – 5)

  • 70 percent of elementary school students are reading at or above grade level (Level 3 and above), up from 54 percent in 2001.
  • 17 percent of elementary students scored in the lowest level (Level 1) in reading, down almost half from 30 percent in 2001.
  • 67 percent of elementary school students are demonstrating mathematics skills at or above grade level (Level 3 and above), up from 52 percent in 2001.
  • 13 percent of elementary students scored in the lowest level (Level 1) in mathematics, down more than half from 27 percent in 2001.

Middle School (Grades 6 – 8)

  • 58 percent of middle school students are reading at or above grade level (Level 3 and above), up from 48 percent in 2001.
  • 19 percent of middle school students scored in the lowest level (Level 1) in reading, down from 30 percent in 2001.
  • 57 percent of middle school students are demonstrating mathematics skills at or above grade level (Level 3 and above), up from 47 percent in 2001.
  • 22 percent of middle school students scored in the lowest level (Level 1) in mathematics skills, down from 32 percent in 2001.

High School (Grades 9 and 10)

  • 38 percent of high school students are reading at or above grade level (Level 3 and above), up from 32 percent in 2001.
  • 33 percent of high school students scored in the lowest level (Level 1) in reading, down from 39 percent in 2001.
  • 63 percent of high school students are demonstrating mathematics skills at or above grade level (Level 3 and above), up from 52 percent in 2001.
  • 16 percent of high school students scored in the lowest level (Level 1) in mathematics, down from 25 percent in 2001.

Science Gains in Grades 5, 8 and 11

Students in grades 5, 8 and 11 are also required to take the science portion of the FCAT. For the first time, student achievement levels in science will be a component in determining school grades. Students taking the science portion of the FCAT all showed significant improvement compared to past years. The science portion of the FCAT has been administered in grades 5 and 8 since 2003 and administered in grade 11 since 2005.

Grade 5

  • 42 percent of fifth grade students are achieving in science at or above grade level (Level 3 and above), up from 28 percent in 2003.
  • 25 percent of fifth grade students scored in the lowest level (Level 1) in science, down from 38 percent in 2003.

Grade 8

  • 38 percent of eighth grade students are achieving in science at or above grade level (Level 3 and above), up from 28 percent in 2003.
  • 31 percent of eighth grade students scored in the lowest level (Level 1) in science, down from 36 percent in 2003.

Grade 11

  • 37 percent of 11th grade students are achieving in science at or above grade level (Level 3 and above), up from 33 percent in 2005.
  • 30 percent of 11th grade students scored in the lowest level (Level 1) in science, down from 36 percent in 2005.

FCAT Parent Network

Parents can view their child's FCAT reading, mathematics and science scores on the Internet by logging on to the FCAT Parent Network at www.fcatparentnetwork.com using the log-in and password provided by their school. This secure site features detailed information on the meaning of the scores and provides resources to improve student performance in the future. Reading, mathematics and science scores for all students will be posted to the Web site on Friday, May 25, 2007.

The Florida Department of Education 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 full-length tests. The full-length FCAT reading and mathematics tests were previously taken by students and include answer keys and the identification of the Sunshine State Standards being assessed. In the fall of 2007, new tests will be released for grades 5 and 6 reading and mathematics, and grade 8 science. This action will provide a released FCAT reading and mathematics test for every grade level assessed, including two versions of the grade 10 tests.

To view school, district and state FCAT reports, visit http://fcat.fldoe.org.