by Janet Bradley
Last week Florida school districts received Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) scores for English Language Arts (ELA) and Math, along with science and social studies scores. Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced improved state assessment results and indicated a later, shorter spring testing window allowed students to spend more time in the classroom learning and more time for teachers to teach. Most of the assessments shifted from being administered in April in previous years to being administered in May in 2019.
The Florida Standards Assessments measure student achievement of the Florida Standards which are the frameworks for all ELA and math courses K-12. Science and social studies assessments measure student achievement of the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards which are outlined in their course descriptions. Student scores are divided into achievement levels on a scale of 1-5. Students scoring a Level 3 are considered satisfactory and may need substantial support for the next grade level or course. A Level 4 indicates the student is proficient and likely to excel in the next grade level or course. If a student scores Level 5 mastery has been reached and they are likely to excel in the next grade level or course. Level 1 and 2 are considered inadequate and below satisfactory, respectively.
Gilchrist County students scored well above state average and ranked in the top of the state for their high performance. District wide, including all four schools, 66% of the English Language Arts students scored a Level 3 or above ranking them third in the state. In the mathematics area in grades 3-8, 73% of the students scored Level 3 or above which earned them a rank of fourth in the state. Science and social studies students were 72% and 64% at Level 3 and above, respectively, which ranked both of them at third in the state. High school Biology and middle school civics students scored 86% and 85% at Level 3 and above, respectively, which placed them both at second in the state. US History students ranked seventeenth in the state with 75% of the students earning a Level 3 or above on the EOC.
Most of the assessed areas were above the state average except for Bell High School 7th grade ELA, 6th grade math, and high school geometry. Trenton High School 9th grade ELA scored right at state average, and Bell Elementary 4th grade math also scored right at state average. Although Gilchrist County’s scores were above state average in many areas, there were assessed areas that dropped 1 to 13 percentage points from 2018. Bell Middle/High School and Trenton Middle/High School saw the greatest number of grade level declines in the areas of ELA and math with Bell Elementary showing a decline in 4th grade math.
The highest scores in the district were in the areas of science and social studies. At Bell Middle/High School 85% of the students scored Level 3 or above on the Biology End of Course Exam (EOC), and 91% of the students scored Level 3 or above on the 7th Grade Civics EOC. Trenton Middle/High School students faired well also with 86% of the students scoring Level 3 or above on the Biology EOC and 81% of the students scoring Level 3 or above on the Civics EOC. At the elementary level, Trenton Elementary 3rd grade math had 86% of their students scoring Level 3 or above, and 5th grade math students scored 81% at Level 3 or above.
High achievement has been a tradition in Gilchrist County for many years. The successful assessment scores are due to the diligence of students and teachers as they work very hard to attain high student performance.
Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran expressed his appreciation for our state’s educator’s, saying, “Florida’s teachers are central to ensuring students develop a strong educational foundation that can be built upon each year”.
Parents can view their student’s scores on the Skyward parent portal.
Florida Department of Education Releases 2019 School Assessment Results
by Janet Bradley