FCAT writing scores improve

Education experts credit better scores to change in grading system

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ORLANDO, Fla. - There's improvement across the board in Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test writing scores released on Friday.

[READ:  FCAT writing scores]

Statewide, 83 percent of fourth-, eighth- and tenth-grade students passed the writing portion of the FCAT with a score of 3.0.  That's an increase of 2 percentage points over last year.

The biggest jump came with fourth-graders.  The number passing the writing portion with a 4.0 or higher rose 10 percentage points to 37 percent.

Many education experts credit the better scores with a change in the grading system.  

Last year's change in the FCAT resulted in lower scores out of the gate.  That forced state leaders to lower the passing threshold to 3.0. 

They also gave students a longer period of time to complete their writing assignment.

The big three Central Florida school districts, Orange, Brevard and Seminole, had the same average, with about 55 percent of their students passing the writing portion of the test.

However, less than two-thirds of Florida's third-grade students are performing at a satisfactory level in math and reading on the FCAT. There was a 1 percent increase in reading scores and no improvement in math.

Commissioner Tony Bennett said the flat third-grade reading performance requires attention and vowed to work with districts.

To see how your local school district performed on the FCAT, click here.

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