Florida third graders perform modestly better on state reading tests in 2016
Fifty-four percent of Florida third graders scored at Level 3 or higher on this spring's Florida Standards Assessment for English-language arts, up 1 percentage point from the baseline for the new test in 2015, according to results released Thursday.
The third-grade test is one of only a few gatekeepers the state has, meaning students must pass it or receive one of a handful of exemptions to gain promotion. Last year, given more leeway to advance students based on non-test performance, districts cut back their retention rates significantly.
This year, many parents complained that their third-graders were threatened with retention, without any attention to the exemptions and alternate paths.
In the Tampa Bay area, results improved in Pasco County by four points, to 57 percent at Level 3 or above, by two points in Hillsborough (to 52 percent) and by one point in Pinellas (to 53 percent). Hernando schools saw a one-point drop, but had the highest overall passing rate in the area at 58 percent.
Statewide, the top performing districts were St. Johns, Santa Rosa, Nassau and Sarasota counties.
More test results are due throughout the rest of the school year. See the state, district and school third-grade results for more details.