FCAT Results: 3rd Graders Show Big Gains; 12th Graders Still Struggling

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Florida’s third graders are showing huge improvements in their FCAT scores. Reading and math scores came out Monday, and for the first time, three out of four third graders are reading at or above their grade level.

But the news is not as good for struggling 12th graders.

Third graders made huge gains on their reading and math FCATs this year. While more than 28,000 failed their reading FCAT and are at risk of being held back, that’s still a big improvement over the 40,000 kids who failed last year.

Jeb Bush says with three out of four third graders now reading at or above grade level, Florida is truly on the right track.

“I think we’re proving as a state that all kids can learn.”

But the numbers are not as good for the state’s struggling 12th graders, those students who’ve failed the FCAT again and again. Preliminary numbers show 11,600 students won’t get a diploma after failing the test. That’s up one percent from last year.

Reginald James is superintendent of Gadsden County, one of the state’s most challenged counties. He’s trying to get the whole community involved in turning things around.

“We’re not only just waiting for parents to come to us, we’re taking our programs and our message to the parents. We’re taking it to the churches.”

Jeb Bush is also taking it to the Legislature. He’s hoping the statistics bolster his case for the middle and high school reforms he’s pushing this year, and also show the work that’s gone into turning things around for elementary students is finally paying off.

For the first time, parents can view their children’s FCAT reading and math scores online this year. Log onto the FCAT parent network at www.fcatparentnetwork.com. You’ll get a letter from your child’s school with the login and password information.

Scores will be posted on Wednesday (May 3.)