Thursday, August 16, 2018

School test scores are up all around the state

Gov. Rick Scott is doing a victory lap and touting the level of state education funding, with standardized test scores inching up around the state.

The numbers released Thursday show a one-point gain in English proficiency rates on the Florida Standards Assessment, from 53 percent in 2017 to 54 percent in 2018. In math, the proficiency rate rose statewide from 59 to 60.

Here's how those numbers look for Tampa Bay area school districts.

English Language Arts: 51 to 53 percent in Hernando County, 52 to 53 in Hillsborough, a drop from 52 to 51 in Pinellas, Pasco holding steady at 55 percent.

Math: Hernando remains unchanged with a 61 percent proficiency rate, Hillsborough increases from 55 to 56 percent, Pasco jumps two points from 57 to 59 and Pinellas goes up a point from 58 to 59.

"This year's assessment results demonstrate that Florida students are continuing to achieve," says a statement the Department of Education released, quoting Scott.

"Florida's teachers and school administrators, coupled with the state's six straight years of historic investment into Florida's K-12 education system, have prioritized student success."

With school district leaders complaining about an increase of 47 cents per pupil in unrestricted spending, and Republican lawmakers pushing back hard on that calculation, Scott took the opportunity to defend his party record.

"Since 2011, funding for Florida's K-12 public schools has increased by $4.5 billion, giving our schools the resources they need," Scott is quoted in the statement. "I'm proud of the results that our students are delivering, and I will never stop fighting to make sure that every student in every Florida community has access to a great education."

There were also gains in science and social studies, and a narrowing of the gaps between white and minority students, with detailed statistics here. 

School letter grades have not yet been released, leaving principals to try and work through the formulas themselves to try and figure out where they will fall.

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