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FCAT results: 3rd-graders showing gains in reading

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Updated: 5/24/2013 6:55 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Duval School superintendent, Dr. Nikolai Vitti, said he's pleased with the latest FCAT results, especially in third-grade reading.

"We outpaced the state in overall improvement, but also began the process of narrowing the gap between Duval and the state average," he said.

Here's how we stack up. Statewide results show 57-percent of third-graders are reading at or above grade level.

Here in Duval County, that number is 55-percent, up 4 percentage points from last year.

Locally, third-grade math scores stayed the same, with 56-percent of students scoring at or above grade level.  The statewide score there also stayed static, at 58-percent.

Vitti credits teachers for the students' success.  He says, "Teachers did what they normally do, which is they don't pay attention to noise and they focus on what happens in the classroom with their children."

Results of the writing tests for fourth, eighth, and 10th-graders were also released Friday.  And again, proficiency improved.

"There's been, over the past two years, a renewed focus on grammar, punctuation, style," said Vitti.

He says Duval County students are making strides on a test that changed over the past couple of years. Now known as the FCAT 2.0, the grading scale is different, and the test has become more difficult.

So while FCAT scores aren't as high as they were before the 2.0 test, it doesn't necessarily mean kids aren't performing at the same levels.

The Department of Education says the 2.0 test will only be used one more year.  After that, the test changes again.

Vitti hopes for consistency.  He says it's hard to accurately gauge how students are doing when the scale keeps shifting.  But he's happy to start the next school year with forward momentum.

"I won't be satisfied until we outpace the state and start to become a national model for education," he said.

St. Johns County still leads the way regionally in FCAT scores.  Go to the Department of Education's website for an interactive look at the results at your child's school.  

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