Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

County schools make strides on FCAT tests

Philip Shore Elementary third-grader Christy Boyett hugs mom Christy Rodriguez hearing FCAT test results.

KEN HELLE | Times

Philip Shore Elementary third-grader Christy Boyett hugs mom Christy Rodriguez hearing FCAT test results.

TAMPA — Hillsborough schools had something to celebrate Wednesday with the release of third-grade reading and math scores on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

The results showed 71 percent reading on grade level, a 4-point increase over last year. Math scores also ticked up slightly.

Overall, Hillsborough still lagged slightly behind the state. But the upward trend gave local educators reason to boast.

The mood was positively euphoric at south Tampa's Grady Elementary, with teachers hugging in the halls. The percentage of third-graders reading on grade level there soared by 21 points, to 83 percent.

Principal Melanie Bottini credited lessons tailored to each student. By midmorning, she said teachers already were thinking ahead to next year — and showing her color-coded charts breaking the data down by class.

"It's what you do with it that matters," Bottini said. "We're using it in a positive manner to continue improving."

In reading and math, Hillsborough saw about 100 schools making gains. About 40 schools posted declines.

Third-graders have a lot riding on the results. Those who score in the lowest level of a five-point scale could be forced to repeat the grade.

That's a danger for 17 percent of Hillsborough third-graders in reading. Eleven percent failed in math. But these students have other options to demonstrate their skills.

The results also weigh heavily into the state's formula for school grades. For schools like Foster Elementary, currently an F school, emotions run high on days when FCAT scores are released.

Principal Peter Russo got three calls from his assistant principal before school started. She was glued to the computer, awaiting the results. By the third call around 7 a.m., she had news.

Sixty-two percent of Foster's third-graders were reading at grade level, a 24-point increase. Math scores also were up, though not by as much.

Russo is anxious to see the test scores from the other grade levels, which are expected in early June. But he knows this much: Foster's days as an F school are numbered.

"There's no way," he said, asked if Foster would earn another failing grade this year. "We are well on track."

Times staff writer Ron Matus contributed to this report. Letitia Stein can be reached at lstein@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3400. For your daily report on Tampa Bay schools, visit the Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.

.Fast facts

How they scored

Percentage of third-graders

performing at grade level or above:

READING MATH

Hillsborough 71 74

Pasco 72 69

Pinellas 72 78

Hernando 76 78

Statewide 72 76

On the Web

To see the FCAT results for your school, visit fcat.fldoe.org. Beginning Friday morning, parents can view their child's scores online at www.fcatparentnetwork.com.

County schools make strides on FCAT tests 05/21/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2008 5:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida education news: Accountability plan, post-Irma, turnarounds and more

    Blogs

    ACCOUNTABILITY: The Florida Department of Education submits a revised Every Student Succeeds Act plan without the waiver requests it had originally proposed. Experts and advocates …

    High Point Elementary teacher Kristen Bierman works with English language learners on their reading skills. The state wants to test all students in English, saying it's Florida law.
  2. Rays morning after: Zim's legacy felt on bunt play

    Blogs

     

  3. Work, threats continue as Hernando recovers from Irma

    Local Government

    BROOKSVILLE

    Hurricane Irma's fierce winds are becoming a memory, but the water the storm left behind has become a real threat on Hernando's east side.

    This aerial drone view shows flooding on the Withlacoochee River in the Talisman Estates area of east Hernando, south of Ridge Manor. The river is about 6 feet above flood stage, and its floodwaters are not expected to recede for days.
  4. A boy and a girl stare at the camera from their house after Hurrciane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, September 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. [Associated Prss]
  5. Forecast: Dry air, hot temperatures remain in control across Tampa Bay

    Weather

    Dry but hot weather will continue Thursday across Tampa Bay with only a 20 percent chance of showers forecast for the afternoon.

    7 day forecast. [WTSP]