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How did the Florida Department of Education arrive at its new concordant scores?



On January 17, the Florida Department of Education said it did not have enough testing data available to set SAT and ACT scores that would be comparable to a passing 10th grade FCAT 2.0 reading score. Two weeks later -- months earlier than expected -- the department issued those concordant scores.

We contacted the department to ask how it was able to find enough data to set the scores. Here's the response:

"The concordance study included students who took Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading for the first time in 2011 or 2012 and also took the SAT or ACT. Only first-time SAT or ACT scores were used. By early January 2013, there were 59,830 students who had taken both the Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading and the ACT Reading, and 62,177 students who had taken both the FCAT 2.0 Reading and the SAT Verbal. Thus, with the size of the samples, and the correspondingly high positive correlations between FCAT 2.0 and ACT and FCAT 2.0 and SAT, we were able to move forward with a concordance study sooner than anticipated.

"Based on psychometric analyses of the samples and determined percentile ranks, the new concordant ACT and SAT scores corresponding to the FCAT 2.0 scale score of 245 are 19 and 430, respectively (as indicated in the table below)."

ACT Reading/FCAT 2.0 Reading

SAT Verbal/FCAT 2.0 Reading


(Correlation: 0.748)


(Correlation: 0.790)

ACT Reading

FCAT 2.0 Reading

SAT Verbal

FCAT 2.0 Reading


(PR: 48.3841)


(PR: 42.9623)


(PR: 26.0981)


(PR: 23.5867)


(PR: 42.1320)



*PR refers to “Percentile Rank”

Bob Schaeffer of FairTest quickly noted what he called a "significant anomaly." 

"According to the College Board, a 430 score on its SAT Critical Reading represents the 27th percentile of college bound seniors in the U.S. According to ACT, however, a 19 on its Reading exam represents the 42nd percentile of college bound seniors nationally," Schaeffer wrote in an e-mail to the Gradebook. "Thus, barring evidence to the contrary, it appears that the cut-off on the ACT is substantially higher than on the SAT."

We posed this issue to the FLDOE as well. The response:

"Due to differences in the ACT and SAT scale structures, it is not always possible to identify exact matching PR scores; therefore, the Department has selected the SAT or ACT concordant score that ensures a comparable score by choosing the score that meets or exceeds the PR that corresponds to the FCAT 2.0 passing score. Also, note that 245 on the FCAT 2.0  Grade 10 reading scale refers to the graduation cut, not to the college ready cut.

"In reference to your question about what percentile does the 19 on ACT and the 430 on SAT correspond to for Florida college bound seniors, we did not conduct that analysis.  The purpose of establishing a concordant score for the graduation requirement on Grade 10 FCAT 2.0 Reading is to determine – based on students who took both assessments – the score on one assessment (SAT and ACT) that is comparable to the score on the other assessment (FCAT 2.0). Determining the percentile at which each ACT and SAT score falls among a population of Florida college bound seniors is outside of the scope of the Department’s recent study linking FCAT 2.0 and ACT and SAT."

[Last modified: Monday, February 4, 2013 10:37am]


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