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Press Release

Thursday, May 21, 2009

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Department of Education Releases 2009 Third Grade FCAT Results
~ Florida’s third-graders continue to show outstanding progress in math ~

TALLAHASSEE – The percent of Florida third-graders performing at or above grade level in math reached its highest point to date according to Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results released today. The results build on the state’s long-term progress in math where the percentage of third-graders performing at or above grade level has increased 26 percentage points in only nine years. Additionally, African-American and Hispanic third-graders continue to close the math achievement gap with their White counterparts.

“I'm highly encouraged by this year’s third grade math results and the progress our students have made over the last decade,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Year after year, our students, teachers and school administrators show us that through their hard work and passion, incredible gains can be achieved.”

Florida also continues to experience long-term reading progress. Although the percentage of third-graders reading at or above grade level dropped slightly this year, the percentage of third-graders reading at or above grade level has grown 14 percentage points since 2001.

“Although it appears we’ve reached a plateau with this year’s reading results, I’m confident Florida is poised to push forward with new initiatives and strategies that are specifically defined to move student achievement to the next step,” said Smith.

A brief summary of the results are as follows:

  • 78 percent of third-grade students are performing at or above grade level in math; up two percentage points from last year and 26 points since 2001.
  • African-American and Hispanic third-graders narrowed the achievement gap with White students in math by one percentage point this year.
  • 71 percent of third-grade students are reading at or above grade level; down one percentage point from last year and up 14 points since 2001.

In 2002, the law was changed to require the retention of third-grade students who failed to achieve a score of Achievement Level 2 or above on FCAT Reading. Because the FCAT is not the sole factor for determining a child’s promotion to fourth grade, the Department does offer parents of third-graders additional remediation resources at www.justreadflorida.com. The options available to help third-graders achieve their goals include summer reading camps, reading mentors and student portfolios.

Individual student score reports will be available to parents at each school district after June 3, 2009. Districts and schools can use their secure login and password provided by the Department to access electronic copies of their reports today.

To view the 2009 Third Grade Reading and Mathematics FCAT fact sheet, visit http://fcat.fldoe.org/mediapacket/2009/pdf/2009G3RMFactSheet.pdf (PDF). To view school, district and state FCAT results, visit http://fcat.fldoe.org/mediapacket/2009/default.asp.