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PRESS RELEASE

November 06, 2007

Tom Butler
(850) 245-0413

Commissioner Blomberg Announces Release of Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests

TALLAHASSEE – Education Commissioner Jeanine Blomberg today announced the release of five 2007 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests® (FCAT). The reading and mathematics tests for grades five and six and the science test for grade eight are actual tests taken by students and are no longer in use. In addition to the tests, the Department of Education released test answer keys, a fact sheet explaining uses for the test, a document explaining how to score the released tests, and Frequently Asked Questions.

"The release of these tests furthers the Department’s mission of providing an open and transparent education assessment and accountability system,” said Commissioner Blomberg.

Released tests are identical to those taken by students, except for questions that will be used on future exams. Parents and teachers can use the released tests as additional resources to increase students’ comfort level and familiarity with Florida’s accountability measures. The released tests can also be used to illustrate the length of an actual exam and the variety of the questions, in addition to providing a “test-like” experience prior to actually taking a real test.

Test questions are written according to specific guidelines developed by Florida educators and are designed to assess how well students are meeting or exceeding the Sunshine State Standards. Questions are reviewed and revised by teachers, curriculum experts and school and district administrators to ensure they are appropriate for the grade level tested. Each year, more than 500 classroom teachers, special education teachers, English language learning instructors, administrators, curriculum specialists, policy leaders, college and university experts, school board members and parents take part in the question review process.

The Department began releasing full-length FCAT tests in the fall of 2005, starting with grades four, eight and ten reading and mathematics tests. As funds permit, the Department will release other tests in future years.

The released FCAT tests, as well as supporting documents, can be found at http://fcat.fldoe.org/fcatrelease.asp.