First Round Of FCATs Kicks Off Tuesday

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Some South Florida students will need to put on their thinking caps today – or should that be their writing caps?

The first round of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests (FCATs) kicks off Tuesday with the writing portion of the test for 4th, 8th and 10th graders.

Last year, a significant majority of students in South Florida scored at least a 4 on the writing section.

In Broward, 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.

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.

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 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.

Students at one Boynton Beach school got a little “brain boost” before taking the test.

At Hagen Road Elementary, the students were given an “FCAT power bar” which they were told would help their performance, according to the Sun-Sentinel. School administrators are hoping the ‘placebo effect’ will kick in and the students will perform well because they think they can.

The Sun-Sentinel contributed to this report.


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