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Tuesday, Sep 02, 2014

Pinellas students make gains in state testing


- Pinellas County public school students in several grades improved their state test scores in the spring reading, math and science results released today by the Florida Department of Education.

The district’s fifth-graders scored above the state average in science for the first time on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Overall more than three-quarters of the 74 elementary schools improved in science, with 21 showing double-digit increases, according to the school district.

Another two-thirds of the elementary schools either stayed the same or improved in fourth-grade math. Walsingham, Frontier and Oldsmar elementary schools were among 24 schools that achieved double-digit gains, the district reported.

The results come after the district’s increased attention on elementary school math and science, in the classroom and through clubs and other activities, the district said.

FCAT scores contribute to state-issued school grades, which are expected to be released over the summer for elementary and middle schools. This is the last time the FCAT will be used, as next school year the state moves to a Common Core based testing system called Florida Standards.

Superintendent Michael A. Grego was pleased with the improvements, and credited the district’s teacher and professional development work.

“As we transition to more rigorous standards-based curriculum and assessments, I’m very excited to see we are moving the needle in a positive direction and beginning to outperform the state in some areas,” Grego said in a statement released today.

“It is critical we continue to stay the course on this path of improvement, and I want to recognize the hard work of teachers, students, administrators and district staff.”

Other results on the test show:

• Bay Point Middle School made gains across all testing areas.

• John Hopkins Middle School had a 16 percent gain in seventh-grade reading and a 6 percent increase in seventh-grade math.

• Tyrone and Tarpon Springs middle schools improved eighth grade reading scores by 14 percent.

• Dixie Hollins, Northeast, Osceola and St. Petersburg high schools each saw improvements in ninth- and 10th-grade reading.

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