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S. Fla. Students Score Well On FCAT Writing

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(CBS4)

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TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – A significant majority of students in South Florida scored at least a 4 on the writing section of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT.

The results of the writing section, released Wednesday, are the first round of FCAT scores to be released in 2011.

Locally, Broward students performed very well in the writing section. The average score countywide was 4.2 for fourth grade, 4.3 for eighth grade, and 4.1 for tenth grade. All of the scores exceeded the state average and are above the previous proficiency score of 3.

Eighty-six percent of fourth grade students scored at least a 4 on the writing section. Eighty-six percent of eighth graders also scored at least a 4. And in tenth grade, 80 percent of students scored at least a 4.

“Through some extreme and challenging circumstances, they (teachers and educators) have shown that their commitment to our core business of teaching and learning results in increases in academic achievement for all students,” said Broward Schools Superintendent Jim Notter.

In Miami-Dade County, the numbers were a little lower, but students still performed well.

Eighty percent of fourth-graders scored at least a 4 on the writing test, while 79 percent of eighth graders hit at least a 4. The numbers dropped to 73 percent of tenth grade students scoring at least a 4 on the FCAT’s writing test.

And in Monroe County, 78 percent of fourth graders scored at least a 4 on the writing section. Eighty-two percent of fourth graders hit the score of 4 and 77 percent of tenth graders scored at least a 4.

The writing section is considered the easiest portion of the annual FCAT exam.

Students in 4th, 8th and 10th grade take the writing test, which consists of a 45-minute time period in which students in each of the three grades write an essay using the same type of writing: narrative, expository or persuasive.

The reading, math and science scores will be released over the next few weeks.

Last year, a score of 3 (on a scale of 1 to 6) was considered proficient; this year, the state Board of Education will discuss whether to make a 4 the level of proficiency for students.

A Florida Department of Education spokeswoman said that the proficiency level of 4 will be used for today’s results.

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