Published: Jun 29, 2010 3:14 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 29, 2010 12:11 PM EDT

Results for the most important test of the year are out today.

The district and school scores for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, were released by the Florida Department of Education this morning.

The test scores were delayed, because of  problems with the testing company.

Individual student scores will not be available for another few days and will be mailed directly to their homes.

To look at the scores go to:

http://fcat.fldoe.org/mediapacket/2010/default.asp

The Florida Department of Education issued this release Tuesday along with the test results.

Florida Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith today announced 2010 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results for grades 4-10 reading and mathematics, grades 5, 8 and 11 science and grades 4, 8, and 10 writing. The results show increases in the percent of students scoring proficient and above in almost every middle and high school grade level in reading and mathematics. Science achievement also showed positive momentum with gains in all tested grade levels.
 
“I would like to congratulate our teachers for their excellent work this past year, especially those serving in our mid and upper grade levels where we experienced some very positive movement in student achievement,” said Commissioner Smith. “I believe strongly that these increases are a sign of great things to come as the recent reform efforts to our accountability and school support systems take root and accelerate this progress at a more rapid pace.”
 
Highlights of this year’s FCAT results include the following:
 
·         The percentage of students scoring proficient and above in reading increased by one point in grades 6 (67 percent), 7 (68 percent), 8 (55 percent), and 9 (48 percent), and two points in grade 10 (39 percent).
·         The percentage of students scoring proficient and above in mathematics increased by one point in grades 5 (63 percent) and 7 (61 percent), two points in grades 6 (57 percent) and 8 (68 percent), and four points in grade 10 (73 percent).
·         The percentage of students scoring proficient and above in science increased by three points in grade 5 (49 percent), two points in grade 8 (43 percent), and one point in grade 11 (38 percent).
 
For 2010, there were two changes made to the FCAT Writing administration, including providing only one prompt at all grade levels (4, 8, and 10) and reducing the number of hand-scorers to one. To accommodate this change, the writing component of the school grade calculation will be the average of the percentage of students scoring a 3 and above and the percentage of students scoring a 4 and above.  For a summary of this year’s FCAT writing scores, see below:
 
·         In Writing, approximately 95 percent of students in grades 4 (94 percent), 8 (96 percent), and 10 (94 percent) scored at or above 3 on the six-point grading scale.  The percent of students scoring a four or higher was 68 percent in grade 4, 76 percent in grade 8, and 72 percent in grade 10.
 
“Although our middle and high schools showed strong academic progress this year, our elementary grade levels remained relatively flat,” said Commissioner Smith. “Reasons for this will vary locally but I am confident that through careful analysis of the data and a redoubling of our efforts at both the state and district level, we will be able to move past this plateau and spark new levels of success in our early grades and beyond.”
 
Delays and Accuracy
The reporting of this year’s FCAT results experienced significant delays due to technology issues with the state’s new testing contractor, NCS Pearson. Extra time was needed to ensure each individual student’s results matched up perfectly with their demographic information. These technology issues were completely separate from the scoring process, and detailed analyses by the Department, Pearson, and an independent testing expert, The Buros Institute, all confirm the results are both accurate and reliable. Details regarding the delays, as well as information and reports about FCAT scoring and quality assurance procedures can be found at www.fldoe.org/fcat.asp.
 
 “My frustrations regarding Pearson’s performance this year are widely known and we have already initiated action seeking liquidated damages from the company,” said Commissioner Smith. “I have made it clear to Pearson that this type of poor performance will not be tolerated and I am awaiting detailed assurances from them on how they plan to prevent these issues from ever occurring again.”
 
Individual student score reports are expected to be mailed to districts for receipt by July 8.