Published: May 24, 2013 1:43 PM EDT
Updated: May 24, 2013 6:40 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Writing results of the 2013 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) were released today by the Florida Department of Education along with third grade FCAT Reading and Math scores.

For school grading purposes, the State has raised the minimum passing score to 3.5 and above for the FCAT Writing Test. The improvement in writing made by Lee County’s students at all three grade levels (4th, 8th, and 10th) equaled or exceeded gains statewide. The most significant increase in Lee County was seen at 4th grade where the percent of students scoring at 3.5 or higher jumped from 49 percent in 2012 to 58 percent this year. The 8th grade percentages increased from 51 percent to 55 percent, while high school scores increased from 58 percent to 61percent.

FCAT Writing, administered only in 4th, 8th, and 10th grades, assesses student skills in composition writing – specifically in the areas of writing focus, organization, support and conventions (grammar, spelling, etc.). Papers are scored on a scale from 1.0 to 6.0 with a score of 3.5 considered as meeting standard for the Florida A+ Plan (School Grading).

“We are pleased with the overall increases in writing at all three grade levels” commented Superintendent Burke. “The growth in scores in 8th and 10th grades was greater than the statewide growth and 4th grade students equaled the statewide growth.”

Third grade FCAT Reading scores also saw an improvement. In 2012, 59 percent of students scored at Level 3 or higher. This year, that percentage was 61 percent. On FCAT, there are five achievement levels with Level 3 considered scoring on grade level. Lee’s reading and math scores are among the highest of the largest districts in Florida.

“The increase in 3rd grade reading scores is very encouraging. Lee scored 4 percentage points higher than the State in reading. When we compare with the ten largest districts, Lee County ranks second in reading and second in math,” stated Dr. Burke.