10 percent of Florida seniors retaking state reading test pass
As seniors across Florida walk across the stage and collect their diplomas, a small number of their classmates have learned they didn't meet one of the meet one of the state's testing requirements to graduate.
Without fanfare, the Florida Department of Education informed school districts on Friday that 90 percent of twelfth graders retaking the language arts Florida Standards Assessment did not earn a passing score. Students must pass the 10th grade test, or earn a concordant score on an alternate test, to qualify for a diploma.
A year ago, 16 percent of seniors passed the language arts retake.
They may sit for the test as many times as necessary to achieve a passing score, even beyond high school. See state graduation requirements for more details.
The number of seniors retaking the exam is small compared to the total number of twelfth graders statewide, just 17,626 of 197,953. Still, some lawmakers talked this year of trying to find an alternate path to a standard diploma for students like these, who struggle with the tests, because their future without a diploma is bleak.
They noted that getting a job, entry to the military or access to a college loan grows increasing difficult without the document, and it might just be a single test score that stands in their way.
The measures did not pass during the legislative session.
Locally, the passing rates on the 12th-grade retake were 18 percent in Hernando and Pasco counties, 6 percent in Hillsborough, and 7 percent in Pinellas. See the state spreadsheet for full district results.