Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay's FCAT Scores Still Rising; Marks Also Improve across Florida

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay's FCAT Scores Still Rising; Marks Also Improve across Florida

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey, Clay County Line staff writer

Clay County third-graders continued a trend of improved scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, according to preliminary results from this year's exam.

This week, the state Department of Education released the 2004 results of third-graders, who took the FCAT for the first time this year, and 12th-graders who failed the 10th-grade test on earlier tries but were taking it again.

Their results are first out because FCAT largely determines third-graders' promotion to fourth grade and seniors' eligibility for standard state diplomas. But how many of them will be negatively impacted remains to be seen, said Walter Brock, assistant superintendent for instruction.

Third-graders who failed the FCAT get opportunities to bring up their grades in summer programs and seniors have another crack at the state diploma in June, he said.

Overall, the preliminary results were positive and district officials hope results from other grade levels, expected to be released May 19, will show an upward trend as well. The Department of Education uses FCAT scores to grade schools.

"Anytime you continue to move up . . . that's a good sign," Brock said. "As a district, we're doing real well."

Third-graders in Clay public schools improved in both reading and mathematics. In reading, 77 percent of students scored level 3 -- grade-level -- or higher, up from 76 percent last year and 72 percent in 2002. In mathematics, 76 percent of them scored at or above level 3, up from 72 percent in 2003 and 69 percent in 2002.

"We had a 1 percent growth in reading and a 4 percent growth in math," Brock said.

Also, third-graders scoring a level 1 -- the lowest -- in reading, dropped from 13 to 12 percent. Level 1 scores for math also dropped from 13 to 12 percent.

Of Clay's 1,988 seniors, 1,850, or 93 percent, have passed the reading portion of the test and 1,875, or 94 percent, passed the math section. …

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