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Press Release

Friday, October 7, 2011

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Statement By: Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson Regarding FCAT 2.0 and Algebra 1 standard setting process

"Last year, Florida debuted new FCAT 2.0 Reading, Mathematics, and Algebra 1 End-of-Course Assessments in order to measure student achievement of the state's Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. These new standards are designed to increase the college and career readiness of our students so they leave our schools well prepared for the opportunities that await them.

"Last year served as our baseline year for the new assessments with students receiving scores based on old achievement levels. This was necessary to provide us with time to examine the new data and gather stakeholder feedback on where the new cut scores should be for the different achievement levels.

"I am pleased to report that this standard setting process has been going smoothly, and over the last several weeks, teachers, superintendents and members of the business community participated in meetings designed to gather their feedback on these new cut scores. Their conversations were informative and productive, and are a valuable part of our transition to higher standards for our students and schools.

"The Department has analyzed this information as a part of our work to build appropriate recommendations for Florida's State Board of Education (SBE) on where these new cut scores should be set. Using this analysis, we have drafted a rule that would establish these cut scores for use beginning with this school year's state assessments. Both the stakeholder feedback and proposed rule are now posted on our website at http://fcat.fldoe.org/fcat2/.

"The next step in the process is to circulate this draft rule and collect public feedback through in-person workshops and our website. Our goal is to bring a final rule to the SBE for their consideration during their December board meeting.

"Florida has long held itself up as a state of high standards and expectations for our children, and our actions over the past decade to raise the bar for the performance of our schools has resulted in significant progress for our students. Once established, these new cut scores will represent the next great step in our journey to create a model education system for our nation."