Tampa, Florida – Today, Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart congratulated teachers and students in Hillsborough, Manatee and Citrus counties for notable gains on FCAT 2.0 Writing and Third Grade Reading and Mathematics.
"These impressive gains are the result of district leaders providing teachers with the tools and training they need to succeed," said Commissioner Stewart. "I am confident that with new standards and assessments next year replacing the FCAT, our students will continue to succeed."
- Manatee County improved from 2013 in all five assessment areas released today. Grade 3 mathematics scores increased five percentage points, Grade 4 writing scores increased nine percentage points and Grade 10 writing was up seven percentage points.
- Hillsborough County improved from 2013 in four of the five assessment areas released today. Grade 4 writing scores increased five percentage points and Grade 3 reading increased by three percentage points while Grade 3 mathematics increased by two percentage points.
- Citrus County improved Grade 8 writing by four percentage points and Grade 3 reading by one percentage point.
Florida's recent academic gains have received national attention. The Sunshine State jumped from 11th to 6th in the nation for educational quality in 2013. Florida has the highest graduation rate in the nation for Hispanic students. In the past decade, the number of Florida graduates participating in AP courses has more than doubled, and the number of low-income graduates taking AP courses has increased tenfold. And Florida's graduation rate is 75.6% for 2012-13 – an increase of 1.1 percentage points over the prior year and up five percentage points since 2010-11.
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.