Writing scores improve

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By Claude Lewis

The first batch of FCAT test scores are in, and the good news is, Levy County students showed impressive gains in writing skills.

However, the Levy scores still lag below the state average in that area of testing.

Results from the reading, math and science segments of FCAT won't be available until later this spring or early summer. The accumulation of all the

tests will give each district and school a numerical grade i.e. A,B,C,D,F.

The FCAT writing tests are given to students in fourth, eighth and 10th grades. The results are graded on a 1-6 scale with 1 being the lowest and 6 the highest. A 3.5 score is considered a passing grade.

The average statewide score for fourth grade was 3.8. Levy fourth graders averaged 3.6.

As far as eighth graders go, Levy kids scored a 3.9 while the state norm was 4.2.

And in 10th grade, Levy was at 3.8 while the state was slightly higher at 3.9.

Looking on the sunny side, Levy Schools Assistant Superintendent Jeff Edison was happy that county students fared better than last year's scores.

"I'm very pleased," he said. "We showed gains across the board. We're headed in the right direction."

The FCAT for fourth graders involved two topics. One was explanatory writing and the other the ability to tell a story.

For eighth and 10th graders, the writing tests were broken down into explanatory and persuasive.

In 2007, Levy fourth graders averaged 3.5. This year they bumped up to 3.6. The eighth graders went from a 3.7 to 3.9.

Tenth graders dipped from a 3.9 to 3.8 average, however.

Percentage-wise, 67 percent of Levy fourth graders scored at least a 3.5. That jumped to 77 percent for eighth graders and 76 percent for 10th graders.

Breaking it down by schools, Chiefland Middle School had impressive numbers. The average score was a 4.1. Eighty three percent of its eighth graders scored at least a 3.5.

Chiefland High's 10th graders averaged a 3.8 with 73 percent scoring at least a 3.5.

Chiefland Elementary's fourth graders averaged 3.7 with 71 percent hitting 3.5 or better.

Bronson High's 10th graders fared well in FCAT writing. Its average score was 3.9 and 81 percent scored at least 3.5. Bronson Elementary fourth graders aveaged 4.0 and 76 percent. Bronson Middle's eighth graders were at 3.5 and 64 percent.

Williston Middle's eighth graders averaged a 3.9 and 78 percent had at least a 3.5. Williston High's 10th graders averaged 3.7 with 77 percent scoring 3.5. Williston Elementary numbers were 3.5 and 63 percent.

Yankeetown School put up some eye-opening numbers. The eighth graders averaged 4.8 and 100 percent hit the 3.5 bar. Fourth graders averaged 4.0 and 79 percent had a 3.5 or higher.

Cedar Key School's fourth graders had the lowest scores. Their average was just 3.3 and just 52 percent scored at least a 3.5. The eighth grade scores were much better with a 4.3 average and 88 percent scoring 3.5. Cedar Key High was at 3.9 with 79 percent at 3.5 or higher.