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Press ReleaseThursday, May 26, 2011
DOE Press Office
Statement by Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith Regarding release of FCAT 2.0 third grade reading and mathematics results“I am very proud of our students’ efforts and the dedicated work of our teachers on this year’s statewide test administration. Today’s release of third grade reading and mathematics scores highlights a very important transition to more demanding tests. As a part of this transition, students took the new FCAT 2.0 assessments for the first time this year. These new assessments are based on Florida’s updated, more rigorous curriculum standards that were adopted by the State Board of Education several years ago.
“As the third grade results show, the statewide average of student performance is essentially the same in 2011, as it was in 2010. This is expected since the method used to link the score scale of the older FCAT assessments to the new FCAT 2.0 assessments results in the same percentage of students statewide scoring at each achievement level in 2011, as they did in 2010. Stakeholders interested in learning more about this linking process are highly encouraged to review the information we have compiled on the Florida Department of Education’s website.
“Although the linking process does not change the statewide results for this year, it does provide different results for districts, schools and students. It is important to note that student achievement on FCAT 2.0 this year is not being reported on a new score scale since the new scale and achievement level standards will not be established until this fall. Therefore, student scores represent performance on this new test reported on the old FCAT score scale. In the coming months, independent committees of stakeholders will gather to review these results and create the new cut scores and achievement levels for FCAT 2.0. Once established, we will be able to apply these cut scores to next year’s results, creating a new trend-line of information from which to track the progress of our students on these new, more rigorous assessments.
“We have spent a great deal of time preparing, planning and executing this important transition and I must commend our teachers, school administrators and district leadership for their excellent work to make this process as seamless as possible for our students. With our new standards firmly in place, and the transition to measuring our performance against those standards now underway, we have made significant progress in our efforts to create better outcomes for our children.”