TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s Commissioner of Education, Dr. Eric J. Smith announced the launch of a new Department of Education website relating to the delays currently being experienced in the reporting of this year’s Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results. The website hosts a variety of informational resources on the issue including:
- Descriptions of the FCAT scoring and validation processes;
- Frequently Asked Questions about the delays and other related topics; and
- Links to contractual and procurement documents detailing the selection of the state’s testing contractor, NCS Pearson (Pearson).
“It is vital that parents, educators and school districts across the state have trust in the accuracy and validity of their students’ FCAT scores,” said Commissioner Smith. “This new online resource will help maximize transparency surrounding the issue of FCAT delays and scoring, and ensure the public has a resource to stay informed as we work to get the remaining results out as quickly as possible.”
FCAT results for reading, mathematics, writing and science are typically reported between mid-April and mid-June. Due to technical issues with Pearson’s database technology, extra time was needed this year to ensure each individual student’s results match up perfectly with their demographic information. These technology issues are completely separate from the scoring process, and detailed analyses by the Department, Pearson, and a third party testing expert, The Buros Institute, all confirm this year’s results are both accurate and reliable.
Currently, only results for third grade students and students who were retaking the 10th grade exam for graduation purposes have been released. The Department expects to release the remaining results to school districts the evening of Monday, June 28. This release will include reading and mathematics results for grades 4-10, writing results for grades 4, 8 and 10 and science results for grades 5, 8, and 11.
The FCAT is administered, scored and reported through a partnership between the Florida Department of Education and a private testing contractor hired through state procurement processes. The state’s current contractor, Pearson, was awarded the contract in 2008 after submitting a bid that received a higher technical score and had a lower cost than the other qualified vendor.
To access the website and learn more about the FCAT, visit www.fldoe.org/fcat.asp.