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ERIC Number: ED538707
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Is There Something Else Wrong with the FCAT? A Closer Look at Reading Gains in Middle School. Research Brief. Volume 0701
Froman, Terry
Research Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Because 3rd Grade Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) scores have a direct impact on promotion, the results for that grade level are released early by the State. When the FCAT results for 3rd Grade were released in May 2007, many people were troubled. Over 80% of the elementary schools in the Miami-Dade School District showed a decrease in the percentage of students scoring in Levels 3 and above in Reading. Similar trends produced an outcry across the state. After an 8 percentage point jump in the previous year, there was a statewide drop of 6 percentage points in 2007. These results were more than surprising and cast doubt on the soundness of the scoring process. After a careful review, the Education Commissioner announced that there did appear to be a problem in the scoring of the test and a rescaling of the 3rd Grade FCAT reading exam would be forthcoming. This admission by the State, while honorable and praiseworthy, opened the door for many to question other aspects of the FCAT test, sometimes without just cause. While it is clearly unfair to discount the overall precision and usefulness of the FCAT, some form of careful review of scores is nonetheless proper. The search for the same kind of irregular trends in the data that brought this type of problem to the surface is always warranted and should be welcomed. Any abnormalities revealed in the examination of the scores need to be made public so that the need for in-depth analysis can be considered. It is in that spirit that this paper presents some unusual patterns in the data for FCAT Reading at the middle school level.
Research Services, Miami-Dade County Public Schools. 1450 NE Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33132. Tel: 305-995-1000; Fax: 305-995-7521; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Research Services
Identifiers - Location: Florida
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test