Pinellas schools challenge 2014 FCAT writing scores

Published July 4, 2014

Pinellas County School District officials have voiced serious doubts about the accuracy of this year's FCAT writing scores, and have asked the Florida Department of Education to investigate. But the department says nothing is wrong. In response, Pinellas plans to take a close look at students' answers on the tests when the state returns them next week. A look at the district's A-rated elementary schools, below, shows the problem. All but two of the schools showed increases in the passing rate on the 2013 writing test. Yet this year, all but three showed decreases — a near complete reversal. Of particular concern are the 10 A-rated schools that dropped by double digits (highlighted in gray). The problem scores extend to middle and high schools as well. The district argues that the state's writing test should be "consistent" and "predictable," and that these results are "certainly enough to warrant further investigation."

Times staff