Flagler makes gains in FCAT assessments

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  • | 4:00 a.m. May 27, 2014
  • Palm Coast Observer
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Flagler County made notable gains on FCAT 2.0 Writing and third grade reading and mathematics scores, which were released May 23.

Flagler improved from 2013 in three of the five assessment areas released, while maintaining performance in grade four writing. Grade eight writing scores increased 10 percentage points and grade 10 writing improved six percentage points. Grade three mathematics scores increased five percentage points.

“We’re very pleased with the results we’re seeing,” said Flagler Schools Superintendent Jacob Oliva. “We’ve been focused on achievement and have a great team of teachers working together.”

Compared to the state, Flagler County scored above the state average in all but tenth-grade writing, which came in 1% below the state average. In state rankings, Flagler County came in the top 10 for fourth-grade writing and third-grade reading. In eight-grade writing, the district improved from a rank of 35 in 2013 to 18 in 2014. A rank improvement from 31 to 19 was also seen in third-grade math.

This year, all thee writing prompts were expository, which Oliva said was an extra challenge for students.

Notable school specific improvements were seen in third-grade math at Imagine School at Town Center, which improved by 15% year-over-year (69% proficient in 2014 vs. 54% proficient in 2013). Indian Trails Middle School also improved its eight-grade writing scores by 17% year-over-year (65% proficient in 2014 vs. 48% proficient in 2013). But a 17% drop in eight-grade writing scores was seen at Imagine.

Gains in fourth-grade writing were seen at Old Kings Elementary School, Bunnell Elementary School, Belle Terre Elementary School and Rymfire Elementary School. However, an 18% drop was seen at Imagine. Drops were also seen in third-grade reading scores at Bunnell, Rymfire, Wadsworth and Imagine.

In 10th-grade writing, Flagler Palm Coast High School saw a gain of 10% and Matanzas dropped 1%. Both high schools had a mean writing score or 3.5, which is equivalent to the state a.

Florida’s recent academic gains have received national attention. The Sunshine State jumped from 11th to sixth in the nation for educational quality in 2013.

Next year, a new assessment based on the Florida Standards will replace the FCAT 2.0. The Florida Standards for mathematics and English language arts stress a broader approach for student learning, including an increased emphasis on analytical thinking. With the new and more rigorous standards, a new assessment was needed to measure student progress.

The remainder of FCAT 2.0 scores are expected to be released in two weeks.




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