FCAT Writing

St. Johns County students continue to improve and score above the state average on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Writing.
Tenth grade students were first in the state, up from fourth place last year. Eighth grade students moved up from tied for seventh to tied for sixth place. Fourth grade students moved from second to tied for fifteenth place but still increased their average score by nine percentage points.  
At every grade level St. Johns County students surpassed the state average on the percentage of students whose performance was rated as proficient. This year the state raised the proficiency level on FCAT Writing from 3.5 to 4.0.
The percentage of St. Johns County tenth graders who scored at 4.0 or above was 84 percent compared to the state average of 75 percent, a six percent increase over last year. The percentage of proficient eighth grade scores was 89 percent compared to 82 percent for the state, an eight percent increase over last year. The percentage of fourth graders scoring on grade level was 84 percent compared to the state average of 81 percent, a nine percent increase over last year.
District students also exceeded the state mean level or average score. The district’s tenth grade students had an average score of 4.3 compared to 4.0 for the state. Eighth grade students scored 4.4, compared to the state average 4.2, and fourth graders scored 4.1, compared to the state average of 4.0. Essays are scored on a scale of 0-6 with a score of 4.0 considered proficient.
“I am so pleased with our outstanding writing scores,” said Superintendent Joseph Joyner. “We issued a challenge when we found out about the increased passing score, and our students more than exceeded it. Staying on par and using last year’s scores, we anticipated a 12 percent drop. That didn’t happen and overall, the number of 4.0s increased at almost every school, some as high as 21 percent.”
Schools showing the greatest increases were South Woods Elementary School and Wards Creek Elementary School (21 percent), Rogers Middle School (20 percent), Crookshank Elementary (18 percent), St. Augustine High School (16 percent), Durbin Creek Elementary and Liberty Pines Academy (15 percent) and PV/PV-Rawlings (13 percent).
FCAT Writing is part of a statewide educational accountability program designed to measure students’ proficiency in writing in grades four, eight and ten. Students are required to write a response to a prompt on an assigned topic within a 45-minute time period. This year all writing prompts were expository essays, and essays were scored by only one reader.
Individual student score reports are expected to be available by the end of next week. Additional information can be found at http://fcat.fldoe.org/.