Collier, Lee students score near state average on FCAT reading and math tests

Local elementary and middle school students scored near the state average on the FCAT reading and math tests according to the final batch of FCAT results released by the state Tuesday.

Collier fourth graders scored higher than Florida fourth graders as a whole with 61 percent of Collier students passing the reading test and 59 percent passing the math test. Collier scores in grades five through eight fluctuated close to the state average.

Statewide, 59 percent of students in grades four through eight passed the reading test and 57 percent of students in the same grades passed the math test. In each case, that was a 1 percentage point improvement compared to revised 2011 grades based on this year's tougher scoring standards.

Lee County students performed at or above state averages in most grades in reading and math. The state already released reading and math scores for students in grades three and 10 and writing scores for students in grades four and eight.

Collier County Public Schools Superintendent Kamela Patton said she is pleased with the improvement so far, but the district still has work to do.

"We are never satisfied when students score below the level three performance level," Patton said. "We will continue to address this through thorough data analysis and school-wide efforts for improvement."

This year the state made the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test more difficult and raised the minimum score needed to pass. A score of level three on a five level ranking is considered passing.

"We've been saying it all year — FCAT 2.0 is going to be harder, but that's OK," said Lee Schools Superintendent Joseph Burke. "Increasing academic expectations for students is always a good thing — it may not look good initially, but in the long run this is going to benefit all students."

The scores released Tuesday give students, parents and teachers a better sense of the student's academic standing, but the scores do not determine grade promotion or student progression. FCAT scores in grades three and 10 determine whether a child moves onto fourth grade or whether a student graduates from high school.

Statewide, the department of education said students performed better in both reading and math than expected based on the new higher standards implemented this year.

FCAT scores are a major factor in school grades expected to be released in three or four weeks. The A to F grades are used to reward and sanction schools.

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bondie writes:

I would hardly be pleased at passing near "but" just below" the average scores. With all the resources available for evaluating and teaching to mixed academic students is not always easy. There has to be a better approach to and higher expatations from your students. All cannot expect A's & B's but the average of c's and d's is not good. Your coment "near the state" average indicates that half were below the average of C. Not good.

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