Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough officials say hard work led to FCAT gains

TAMPA — Reading hasn't come easily to Hillsborough's high school students, but they are making progress.

The good news is the percentage of 10th-graders reading at or above their grade level jumped by 5 percentage points this year. The bad news: Only 41 percent made the mark.

Hillsborough school officials highlighted the largely positive trends in the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results, which were released Tuesday in reading, math and science.

"We've gone up, and we've been working very hard," said superintendent MaryEllen Elia, noting that the district saw gains in reading and math in seven of the eight grade levels released. "Now comes the hard analysis, school by school, student by student."

Fifth-grade reading scores were a glaring exception. Hillsborough's scores slid 4 percentage points, with 65 percent of fifth-graders meeting state expectations in reading.

The drop mirrored a statewide trend, marking the first time that fifth-grade scores have fallen. Florida Education Commissioner Eric J. Smith called the dip "just part of a normal fluctuation."

He said it was not tied to the third-grade FCAT that was botched two years ago. But Hillsborough school officials are worried about similar issues. They have asked the state to look into it.

This year's fifth-graders took that 2006 test, which was found to have resulted in inflated scores. Some third-graders who should have been held back because of low scores — and given extra help to catch up — may have been promoted because of the error.

Science was another weak area for many students. This is the second year that the test counts for school grades. The state tests students in the fifth, eighth and 11th grades.

While Hillsborough saw modest gains, or held steady, more than half of the students tested in science fell short of the expectations for their grade level.

"We're happy, but there's a long way to go," said Liz Hunnicutt, supervisor for elementary science, stressing that preparation needs to begin as early as kindergarten. "Since we're only tested at one grade level, it takes the whole village."

The high school results suggest that concentrated efforts can make a difference. High school reform has become a major push in Florida. This year, test scores rose statewide.

When he first printed out the high school results, David Steele thought for a minute there had been a mistake. Hillsborough's general director for secondary education was floored by the increases in ninth and 10th grades.

"We definitely hit it this year," he said, warning that too much shouldn't be read into one year. "We understand that there are ups and downs over the year. This is a good year."

Times staff writer Ron Matus contributed to this report. Letitia Stein can be reached at lstein@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3400. For education news, visit The Gradebook at blogs.tampabay.com/schools.

For more information about your school's scores, visit http://fcat.fldoe.org. Parents can go online to see their children's FCAT scores beginning Thursday at 6 a.m. Log into the FCAT Parent Network at www.fcatparentnetwork.com using the secure log-in and password provided by the school.

High school gains in Hillsborough, percent of students at or above their grade level:

Ninth-grade reading

2007: 42 percent

2008: 46 percent

Ninth-grade math

2007: 61 percent

2008: 67 percent

Tenth-grade reading

2007: 36 percent

2008: 41 percent

Tenth-grade math

2007: 67 percent

2008: 70 percent



School and individual scores posted on Web

For information about your school's scores, visit http://fcat.fldoe.org.

Parents can go online to see their children's FCAT scores starting at 6 a.m.

Thursday. Log on to FCAT Parent Network at www.fcatparentnetwork.com using the secure log-in and password provided by the school. Below, high school gains

in Hillsborough, percent of students at or above their grade level:

Ninth-grade reading

2007: 42 percent

2008: 46 percent

Ninth-grade math

2007: 61 percent

2008: 67 percent

10th-grade reading

2007: 36 percent

2008: 41 percent

10th-grade math

2007: 67 percent

2008: 70 percent



Hed goes here

For more information about your school's scores, visit http://fcat.fldoe.org.

Parents can go online to see their children's FCAT scores beginning 6 a.m.

Thursday. Log into FCAT Parent Network at www.fcatparentnetwork.com using the secure log-in and password provided by the school. Below, high school gains

in Hillsborough, percent of students at or above their grade level:

Ninth-grade reading

2007: 42 percent

2008: 46 percent

Ninth-grade math

2007: 61 percent

2008: 67 percent

10th-grade reading

2007: 36 percent

2008: 41 percent

10th-grade math

2007: 67 percent

2008: 70 percent

Hillsborough officials say hard work led to FCAT gains 06/10/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 10, 2008 11:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash

    Accidents

    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries

    National

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle

    World

    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators

    National

    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.