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Media Releases: May 16, 2003

During the sixth year of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), St. Johns County students continued to score well above the state average at every level.

The FCAT is divided into two parts: the Sunshine State Standards (SSS), which are required skills for graduation, and the Norm-Referenced Test (NRT), which compares St. Johns County students with other students across the nation. On the SSS St. Johns County students improved in reading and math at all grade levels, and on the NRT St. Johns County scores were up in all grades except for tenth grade reading.

While high school test scores dropped across the state, average tenth grade reading scores in St. Johns County were the highest in the state on both the SSS and the NRT, and average tenth grade math scores were the second highest in the state on the SSS and tied for the highest in the state on the NRT.

The biggest increases in St. Johns County were seen at the fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth grade levels. Grade 7 showed the greatest improvement with math scores increasing by 11 points and reading scores by 10 points over last year’s scores. In Grade 8 reading scores improved by 13 points and math scores by 6 points. Grade 4 scores increased 10 points in reading and seven points in math. Grade 9 reading and math scores both increased by eight points.

“To achieve this level of success six years in a row is a definite tribute to the hard work done by all of our teachers and the excellent preparation they provided our students,” said Superintendent Hugh Balboni.

For the second year student scores reflect Learning Gains, which show an estimate of a student’s progress from 2002 to 2003. Individual Learning Gains are based on a comparison of Achievement Level scores from year to year.

“Since these initial scores compare this year’s students to a different group of students from last year, the results are more an indication of program than individual student success,” explained Bob Allten, Director of Planning and Accountability. “We are now trying to determine individual learning gains which will compare the same group of students from last year to this year.”

Grade level results on the SSS comparing St. Johns County to other districts in the state are as follows:

Grade 10 – Highest in reading and second highest in math
Grade 9 – Second highest in reading and fourth highest in math
Grade 8 – Third highest in reading and eighth highest in math
Grade 7 – Second highest in reading and third highest in math
Grade 6 – Third highest in reading and third highest in math
Grade 5 – Eighth highest in reading and eighth highest in math
Grade 4 – Third highest in reading and fourth highest in math
Grade 3 – Third highest in reading and ninth highest in math
Grade level results on the NRT comparing St. Johns County to other districts in the state are as follows:
Grade 10 – Highest in reading and highest in math
Grade 9 – Second highest in reading and third highest in math
Grade 8 – Fourth highest in reading and fifth highest in math
Grade 7 – Second highest in reading and third highest in math
Grade 6 – Third highest in reading and fifth highest in math
Grade 5 – Sixth highest in reading and ninth highest in math
Grade 4 – Fifth highest in reading and third highest in math
Grade 3 – Fourth highest in reading and eighth highest in math

This is the first year that science was included on the FCAT, and this subject test was given to students in grades 5, 8 and 10. St. Johns County tenth graders made the highest score in the state, eighth graders scored third in the state and fifth graders were fifth in the state.

The FCAT, which judges reading and math skills, was given in February and March to students in grades three through ten throughout the state. Possible scores ranged from 100 to a high of 500, with Achievement Levels ranging from one to five. The test is part of a statewide effort to increase student performance and hold schools more accountable. The FCAT is designed to measure how students achieve on the Sunshine State Standards and the Norm-Referenced Test and is one of the elements used to determine school grades.


St. Johns County Schools scored above the sixty-seventh percentile in all areas for first and second grades, according to recent results of the 2003 Stanford Achievement Test (SAT). The School District administered the SAT only to first and second graders again this year since they were not part of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).

On a national comparison level Grade 1 and Grade 2 scores increased in every category. The biggest gains were seen in Grade 1 Language, which increased from the 69th to the 75th percentile, and Grade 1 Reading, which moved from the 72nd to the 77th percentile. Grade 1 Math scores increased from the 76th to the 77th percentile.

Grade 2 scores also showed gains in all areas tested. Language scores increased from the 67th to the 69th percentile, math scores increased from the 73rd to the 75th percentile, and reading scores increased from the 70th to the 71st percentile.

“These test scores are very positive and a reflection on the new reading series we adopted last year,” said Superintendent Hugh Balboni. “As we continue to address individual learners, our scores should continue to increase.”

The Stanford Achievement Tests were given in April to test knowledge in three areas: reading, mathematics and language. Individual student results will be distributed to parents before the end of school. This is the seventh year that St. Johns County Schools have used the Ninth Edition of the Stanford test.



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St. Johns County School District
40 Orange St. ∑ St. Augustine, FL 32084 ∑ 904.819.7500