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S. Fla. Students Struggle On FCAT

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(CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami.com) – The Florida Department of Education released the much-anticipated results of the 2011 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). While scores increased in many areas across the state, the news was not quite as good in South Florida.

According to the DOE, FCAT science results showed improvements for all grades tested. Math scores statewide followed a similar trend, until 10th grade when math scores dropped.

“My congratulations go out to our teachers and school administrators who worked tirelessly this year to raise the achievement of our students and better prepare them for future success,” said Fla. Education Commissioner Dr. Eric Smith.

But, when the numbers are broken down by county, South Florida performed poorly at the high school level.

In the reading section of the test for high school sophomores, just 38 percent of the more than 24,000 students tested in Miami-Dade County scored at achievement level 3 and above, meaning they were performing at the level they should be based on their year in school.

Overall, just 59 percent of high school sophomores tested in Miami-Dade passed the reading section of the FCAT.

The numbers were only slightly better at the 10th grade level in Broward County. Overall, on the reading section, just 60 percent passed, and just 38 percent scored at achievement level 3 and above.

Broward County Public Schools indicated that reading proficiency is in line with the state in all grade levels.

“The good news for Broward is that on these new more rigorous standards we performed very similar to how we did last year and in many instances continue to outperform our counterparts throughout the state,” said Superintendent James F. Notter.

At the freshman level in high school, the number of students scoring at 3 and above in either county was just 42 percent in Miami-Dade and 48 percent in Broward.

In the mathematics section, South Florida students at the eighth grade level performed above average, with at least 2 out of 3 scoring at level 3 or above. In Miami-Dade County, 66 percent of students tested scored at level 3 or above; while in Broward, 72 percent scored at level 3 or above.

But, in the science section at the high school level (11th grade), the scores were rough. In Miami-Dade County, just 37 percent scored at level 3 or above, which was the same result that Broward County saw from its students.

So while students in the state showed improvement overall on the FCAT, students in South Florida still have a long way to go to get to grade level proficiency.

For full results on the FCAT, click here.

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