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Student Test Scores Yield A Mixed Bag

More results from Florida students’ End Of Course and FCAT exams have been released.  Florida’s Department of Education Commissioner Tony Bennett said the results were mixed.

“There are substantial gains in EOC that I think we should be very happy about.  That we should y’know we should celebrate.  On the other hand, FCAT results are flat.  And I find that personally unacceptable,” Bennett said.

EOC results improved by 6 - 8% compared to last year.  In all grades, the passage rate for FCATs in reading and math continued to hover near 55%. 

These mixed results raise many questions about the shift to common core standards.

Widely seen as more demanding, officials say the transition to the new common core standards could lead to short-term declines in test results, schools, and district grades. Bennett is confident that in long run scores, and more importantly, career readiness will increase.

“We don’t have the learning gains yet, but let me say this, yes, there is likely to be a decline in school grades, and it’s not an indication that our schools have done worse,” Bennet said.

The transition to common core is moving forward unevenly throughout Florida.  Some students are being taught to a standard that does not coincide with the tests they are taking.  But critics are quick to say if common core standards are more demanding, FCAT scores should be improving.