May 23, 2006

FCAT data released

The Florida Department of Education released another year's batch of FCAT scores. Reporters will rush to the media packet to mine it for details. Page 36 will get some attention, as it shows that a lower proportion of 10th graders have been passing the reading section of the FCAT (for graduation purposes) in the last two years than in the prior three. Update: The first story from the St. Pete Times calls the report a mixed bag, and you can find other stories via Google News search for "fcat". As I expected, reporters are digging below the data aggregated across grades (bad stats use) to find where the patterns are different.

I nominate page 31 for the Most Misleading Page award for the packet. While low-performing students who were retained in third grade scored higher in fourth grade (two years after finishing third for the first time) than those who were promoted to fourth grade (and took the fourth-grade test one year after finishing third), that's not exactly an unpredictable response. I'd love to see what the developmental scores are when compared for students at the same age. In related news, the Pinellas county school board is considering a policy to seriously consider retention for 5th and 8th graders with low reading FCAT scores, essentially applying the statewide standard for 3rd-grade promotion gates to 5th and 8th.

Listen to this article
Posted in Education policy on May 23, 2006 3:10 PM |