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Lee’s third grade FCAT score higher than state average

By Staff | May 26, 2012

The Lee County School District faired well with the third grade FCAT reading and math scores when compared to the state average.

Dr. Richard Itzen, accountability, testing and continuous improvement director, said the results are very encouraging.

“No one really knew exactly what to expect since it was a new test and increased standards,” he said. “So we are very happy to see that our third graders out performed the state averages as well as a lot of other counties in Florida.”

Fifty nine percent of third grade students scored between levels 3-5 in reading in Lee County, which was higher than the state average of 56 percent.

Fourteen percent of the district’s third grade students scored within level one, which means they will be given an opportunity to attend a summer program. The program is intended to improve their reading skills. The student will be re-assessed at the end of the program.

A prepared statement sent out by the Lee County School District said “according to state law, these students will be retained in third grade unless they are eligible for promotion through good cause exemptions.”

For math, the number of third grade students to score in levels 3-5 was 63 percent, which again was higher than the state score of 58 percent.

Those scores include exceptional education students (ESE), English language learners (ELL), with the exception of ELL students receiving their first year of ESOL services.

“In an educational world that is ever changing and people calling for more rigor and accountability, we believe we have done well in meeting that challenge so far,” Itzen said of the new standards.

He said the scores were the result of state adoption of new skills standards.

“This was the test that would assess those new skills,” Itzen said. “As the standards change and skills change, our teachers adopt the fastest they can.”

“Cut” scores were also increased for the reading and math FCAT 2.0 test, which he said determines if a student is at level 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.

“A combination of those two things that made it a challenge,” he said about the test.

Results were also released Thursday for the first administration of the biology and geometry end-of-course exams. The biology exam replaced the 11th grade FCAT science test and the geometry test replaced the 10th grade math test. Both of the tests were administered to the students on the computer.

The average geometry score for Lee County was 47, compared to the state average of 49 and the average score for biology was 50, compared to the state average of 49.

“The results in biology and geometry will now serve as the baseline for us to use moving forward,” Superintendent Dr. Joseph Burke said in a prepared statement. “It’s something new, and as we have in other areas, we anticipate student performance to rise in these two areas.”