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Independent Review of 2010 FCAT Results

Advisory Committees on Assessment and Accountability

Introduction

Florida's school districts and teachers have done a tremendous job over the years in increasing the overall level of achievement for our students. Previous FCAT results and nationally recognized assessments such as the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) exemplify this growth in student performance.

Upon publication of the 2010 FCAT results last month, several school districts have requested further evaluation, specifically as it relates to the learning gains of the 25 percent lowest performing students throughout the state. Two independent auditors have since completed their reviews of this year’s FCAT administration and results and their findings are now available for your review within the Official Findings section below.

Report from HumRRO

Report from Center for Assessment

Official Findings

Independent Reviewers

The Department has contracted with the Human Resource Research Organization (HumRRO) to evaluate the learning gains results of the lowest 25 percent of students. Their audit will focus on the test characteristics, score distributions, and changes in score distributions for FCAT reading and mathematics for Grades 3, 4, and 5 for the spring 2008 through 2010 administrations. The results of this analysis will be published as soon as they are available. Learn more by viewing the links below.

In addition, the Department is contracting with The National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment to conduct a thorough review of the test design, scaling, and equating with a particular focus on grades 3, 4, and 5 reading and mathematics for 2007 through 2010. The results of this in-depth analysis will be published as soon as they are available. Learn more by viewing the links below.

Lastly, prior to the release of the 2010 FCAT Results, the Department worked with the independent third party provider, The Buros Center for Testing to ensure the scores of this year's FCAT results are reliable and accurate. The Buros Center for Testing audits were previously completed and can be found by visiting the links below:

School District Questions

Please click on the link below for the school districts that have submitted a request to the Department to review learning gains data for reading and mathematics.

What is a Learning Gain?

Since FCAT reading and math exams are given in grades 3 – 10, it is possible to monitor how much students learn from one year to the next.

Schools earn one point for each percent of students who make learning gains in reading and one point for each percent of students who make learning gains in math. Students can demonstrate learning gains in any one of three ways:

  1. Improve achievement levels from 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, or 4-5; or
  2. Maintain within the relatively high levels of 3, 4, or 5; or
  3. Demonstrate more than one year’s growth within achievement levels 1 or 2 (does not include retained students).

Special attention is given to the reading and math gains of students in the lowest 25 percent in levels 1, 2, or 3 in each school. Schools earn one point for each percent of the lowest performing students who make learning gains in reading and math from the previous year. It takes at least 50% to make “adequate progress” for this group. If a school has less than 50 percent of this group making gains, schools can still make “adequate progress” for the group if they demonstrate improvement over the prior year.

About School Grades

The Department of Education will release 2010 School Grades at 12:00 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6. The results will be posted on the Department’s website at http://schoolgrades.fldoe.org/.