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Lee County FCAT writing scores near or at state average

By Staff | May 1, 2009

FCAT writing scores released Thursday show that writing scores for Lee County eighth- and 10th-graders match state averages, and fourth-grade scores in the county came in just under the state average.

The average eighth grade score is 4.3 and the average 10th grade score is 3.8, on a grading scale from 1.0 to 6.0. The fourth grade average score is 3.9, a slight drop from the state average of 4.0.

The percentage of students receiving a score of 3.5 or above – the standard of the federal No Child Left Behind Act – increased in fourth and eighth grades from the 2008 scores, rising from 76 percent to 83 percent and 87 percent to 90 percent, respectively.

The percentage of 10th grade scores meeting or exceeding the standard declined slightly from last year, with 75 percent of students receiving a 3.5 or above, compared to 76 percent in 2008.

Lee County Schools Superintendent James Browder praised the scores, but said he still sees room for improvement.

“We see some real positive improvement in our writing achievement, but we will continue to look closely at how we can focus improvement efforts on the mechanics of writing,” Browder said in a prepared statement.

Lee County School Board Member Robert Chilmonik said he is stunned the scores are not higher because the number of students in the district decreased this year, as opposed to previous years.

“We’re actually losing students, so I’m a little perplexed,” he said, adding that he was expecting higher 10th grade scores.

Chilmonik did not blame students, teachers or budget cuts for the scores, but said a return to teaching the basics of writing such as grammar and sentence structure is needed to improve scores.

“I think our teachers are solid. I don’t think (budget cuts) this year had anything to do with it,” he said.

Individual writing scores, as well as reading, math and science scores, will be released later this month.

Lee County FCAT writing scores near or at state average

By Staff | May 1, 2009

FCAT writing scores released Thursday show that writing scores for Lee County eighth- and 10th-graders match state averages, and fourth-grade scores in the county came in just under the state average.
The average eighth-grade score is 4.3 and the average 10th-grade score is 3.8, on a grading scale from 1.0 to 6.0. The fourth-grade average score is 3.9, a slight drop from the state average of 4.0.
The percentage of students receiving a score of 3.5 or above — the standard of the federal No Child Left Behind Act — increased in fourth and eighth grades from the 2008 scores, rising from 76 percent to 83 percent and 87 percent to 90 percent, respectively.
The percentage of 10th-grade scores meeting or exceeding the standard declined slightly from last year, with 75 percent of students receiving a 3.5 or above, compared to 76 percent in 2008.
Lee County Schools Superintendent James Browder praised the scores, but said he still sees room for improvement.
“We see some real positive improvement in our writing achievement, but we will continue to look closely at how we can focus improvement efforts on the mechanics of writing,” Browder said in a prepared statement.
Lee County School Board Member Robert Chilmonik said he is stunned the scores are not higher because the number of students in the district decreased this year, as opposed to previous years.
“We’re actually losing students, so I’m a little perplexed,” he said, adding that he was expecting higher 10th-grade scores.
Chilmonik did not blame students, teachers or budget cuts for the scores, but said a return to teaching the basics of writing such as grammar and sentence structure is needed to improve scores.
“I think our teachers are solid. I don’t think (budget cuts) this year had anything to do with it,” he said.
Individual writing scores, as well as reading, math and science scores, will be released later this month.