Hillsborough's Students Among State's Best on FCAT Writing Test

The Hillsborough County School District is touting its students' test scores following a controversial decision to lower the cut score so that fewer students would fail.

In the midst of a controversy surrounding state test scores and students not making the grade on the FCAT, Hillsborough County students posted some of the highest marks in Florida, school district officials said Friday.

Hillsborough's 4th- and 10th-graders scored second highest in the state, and 8th-graders were tied for third on the writing portion of the FCAT when compared to "comparable and contiguous" school districts, officials said.

In an emergency session held earlier this week, the State Board of Education lowered the cut score for the FCAT writing test after initial results showed only about a third of students would have passed. The change would keep the failure rate about the same as last year, when 80 percent or better passed the writing test.

Students can score between a 1.0 to a 6.0 on the writing test. Hillsborough's 4th-graders scored an average of 3.4, its 8th-graders a 3.5 and its 10th-graders a 3.5.

The writing test is given only to students in the fourth, eighth and 10th grades.

For complete FCAT writing results, visit www.fldoe.org.


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