This morning, Florida school districts received mean T scores from the Florida Department of Education for students that participated in the 2015 Spring Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) and End of Course (EOC) Exams. Last year, the State administered the Florida Standards Assessment for the first time. All students in third through tenth grade participated in the FSA testing in English Language Arts (which includes both reading and writing skills). The FSA Math test was administered in third through eighth grade. Students enrolled in Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Geometry in Spring 2015 participated in the state-composed End of Course Exams for those subjects. Since scale scores and achievement levels have not been established for these exams at this time, scores were received today as T scores ranging from 20 to 80 with an average of 50. T scores can be interpreted as above average or below average from the score of 50.

The Individual Student Reports, to be distributed at the end of October, will provide parents with Percentile Rank scores. A Percentile Rank indicates the percentage of students across the State that a child has scored better than. The official State Accountability Report (school grades), based on these FSA results as well as previously released scores from FCAT Science, Biology and US History, is expected to be released in January 2016.

The data received this morning indicates the following for Lee County:

English and Language Arts (ELA) Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) Details:

  • The state ranking for the Fifth grade ELA increased by 14 positions – Lee County now ranks 22nd out of 67 Florida counties
  • The state ranking for the eighth grade ELA increased by 6 positions – Lee County now ranks 20th out of 67 Florida counties
  • The Eighth grade ELA is also above the state mean T score
  • Grades 3-9 ELA are equal to or above the state mean T score
  • Among the 10 largest districts in Florida, Lee County is tied with Brevard for the first place ranking for the 8th grade ELA
  • 8 of the 13 traditional high schools are equal to or above the state T score for the 9th and 10th grade ELA 
  • Overall District elementary ELA scores are equal to the state mean T score

Math Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) and End of Course (EOC) Details

  • Grades 3-7 Math are at or above the state mean T score, with grades 6 and 7 math exceeding the state mean T score – a significant showing for our middle school math programs.
  • All middle schools exceed the state mean score in the Algebra EOC (the state mean T score reflects combined scores of middle and high school students across the state).  Again, this is a significant accomplishment for our middle schools.
  • 6 out of 13 traditional high schools are equal to or above the state average for the Geometry EOC
  • District elementary math scores are equal to the state mean T score

Summary:

Data released today indicates the School District of Lee County compares favorably to the performance of other Districts statewide on a battery of primarily new tests. The middle school performance in English Language Arts and Algebra I are especially encouraging and an indication that our teachers are teaching to the Florida standards and that our students will continue to be successful in standards mastery.

Superintendent Dr. Gregory K. Adkins supports the position released by the Florida Association of District Superintendents earlier this week, indicating Superintendents have lost faith in the state accountability system.

Read the release here.

Comments from Superintendent Dr. Gregory K. Adkins:

The absence of learning gain scores in this year’s accountability data makes today’s event little more than a horse race – the only thing Districts know today is how we compare to one another and how our schools compare to one another within our District.

Who is ahead in a perpetual race for a finish line that has been unfairly and unduly determined by the Department of Education means little to educators whose first mission is to focus on what students need in the classroom. Today’s data does little to inform the classroom instruction of students, which is the purpose of true assessment.

Districts need to know how much a student learned from last year to this year and we are simply unable to make these determinations based on the state data. The State’s decision not to draw comparisons between the FCAT and FSA learning gains removes the opportunity for schools and students to benefit from drawing any meaning from today’s data.

We continue to stress that each student is more than a test. We continue to encourage parents to look at their child’s progress from week to week and year to year. We continue to stress that each child learns differently and at a pace unique to that child. We continue to stress that true assessment is ongoing and not a single snapshot on a multiple choice test.  Finally, we continue to stress that any state accountability system that penalizes students, teachers and schools without consideration for the needs of each student is seriously flawed.