MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida and the rest of the state received the first results Friday of the 2013 FCAT tests. Those tests include FCAT 2.0 writing and third-grade FCAT 2.0 reading and mathematics assessments.
Statewide, 57-percent of third graders met the state's mark for grade level or better scores in reading.
Both Miami-Dade and Broward counties performed slightly below the state's 57-percent average, with 53-percent of Miami-Dade students scoring at or above grade level, and 55-percent of Broward students doing so.
Close to 5,900 Dade students, or 22-percent, scored a 1 on the third-grade reading exam. In Broward, 3,987 students, or 20-percent, scored a 1.
Students who earn a Level 1 out of 5 risk being held back, though they can be promoted through other measures.
To be considered proficient, a student must earn a Level 3 or above. Level 2 scores mean students need extra attention but don't affect promotion to the fourth grade.
More than 37,000 third graders statewide could be held back a grade because they failed the reading FCAT.
In math, 58-percent of Florida third-graders scored at or above grade level— a figure unchanged from last year.
Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said he is encouraged by an improvement in writing scores, specifically 4th graders that saw an 11% improvement in the number of students performing satisfactory or higher. But Runcie said he sees a great deal of room for improvement.
"We recognize that we need to do much better," Runcie said. "I'll probably never be happy with the scores. We've got a lot of work to do in public education."
Runcie said the district will study the efforts of 12 schools that made statistically significant increases in combined reading and math results.
"If we've got really good superstars in this district doing really well and we're not taking advantage of those practices and insights and exporting them around the district, then we're missing an opportunity," Runcie said.
Miami-Dade performed higher than average in math, with 62-percent of students at or above grade level.
"These excellent results once again demonstrate Miami-Dade's upward trend of student achievement," said Superintendent of Schools Alberto M. Carvalho. "The pattern reveals a legacy of learning that is taking place in our public schools, despite the challenges that our population of over 70,000 English language learners face. These solid gains are the result of continued hard work by teachers and administrators."
Broward's passage rate matched the state's at 58-percent in math.
The results only included reading and math scores for third graders as well as the writing portion of the FCAT for fourth, eighth and tenth graders.
Fourth and tenth grade students' writing performance surpassed the State's. Fifty-eight percent of all fourth grade students scored at 3.5 or above on FCAT 2.0 Writing, up 11 points from last year. Forty-nine percent of all eighth grade students scored at 3.5 or above on FCAT 2.0 Writing in 2013, also an increase from 2012. Sixty-six percent of all tenth grade students scored at 3.5 or above on FCAT 2.0 Writing in 2013, an increase of 7 points from 2012.
All the test scores are due out by June 8.
Assessments such as FCAT 2.0 and end-of-course exams are ways that Florida measures how well students have mastered the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.
School letter grades are set to be released in July.
Students' individual FCAT results will be distributed to parents by schools later.
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