Florida students still write well
By now it should come as no surprise that the state's fourth-, eighth- and tenth-graders perform quite well on Florida's oldest section of the FCAT, the writing part. The latest figures, released this morning, show that two-thirds of fourth graders and sophomores, and three-fourths of the eighth graders, are earning a score of 4 or better on a six-point scale. (The passing score is 3.5, raised from 3.0 after just about everyone in the state was attaining that level.) Those rates are about the same as last year for fourth-graders and sophomores, but 8 percentage points better for the eighth graders. It remains an open question of whether these students can write anything other than the narrative, expository and persuasive styles their teachers teach them for the test. But at least they have the basics down. To review the 58-page report of state and district averages, click here. Education commissioner Jeanine Blomberg has scheduled a conference call with reporters to talk about the results later this morning. We'll give you an update if she says anything interesting.