Published: May 04, 2011 6:50 PM EDT
Updated: May 04, 2011 3:51 PM EDT

LEE, COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Writing results of the 2011 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) were released Wednesday by the Florida Department of Education. Essay scores for the Lee and Collier counties improved. 

Collier County's FCAT Writing results show that students improved in writing in grades four, eight, and 10; and compared to last year, a majority of the elementary and middle schools, themselves, improved or remained the same.

For school grading purposes, the state has raised the minimum passing score to 4.0 and above. The improvement in writing made by Lee County’s students at all three grade levels (4th, 8th, and 10th) outpaced gains statewide. The percentage of fourth-graders achieving a score of 4.0 or higher on the essay increased by 15%, jumping to 82% (up from 67%.) That’s higher than the statewide increase for 2011 (13%.) The percentage of proficient eighth-graders also increased from 75% to 82% (7 percentage points) and the percentage at 10th-grade increased from 69% to 74%, increasing 5 percentage points compared to the state’s gain of 3 percentage points.

“This is tremendous news,” said Dr. Larry Tihen, Lee County Interim Superintendent of Schools. “This speaks volumes about the work done by our students, teachers and schools. It is something we can all be very proud of.”