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Nearly Half of Manatee 3rd-Graders Can't Read at Grade Level: FCAT

Manatee third-graders trailed the state in reading and math scores on the FCAT, with about a quarter at serious risk of being held back.

Slightly less than half of Manatee County's third-graders read and perform math at or above grade level — at 49 percent, according to FCAT results released Friday.

About a quarter of the third-graders scored a "1," the lowest score on reading and math exams, which means they are at serious risk of being held back.

Scoring on the third-grade FCAT is numbered from 1 to 5, with 3 the minimum for students to be considered at grade level.

In Manatee schools:

  • 26 percent of third-graders scored a 1 in math;
  • 25 percent of third-graders scored a 1 in reading.

There were several standout schools in the county.

Anna Maria Elementary topped Manatee elementary schools, with 86 percent of third-graders reading at or above grade level, and 80 percent meeting or exceeding standards in math.

At Williams Elementary, 70 percent of third-graders were at or above grade level in math. At Willis Elementary, it was 69 percent of third-graders.

Yet overall, Manatee third-graders lag behind their peers in Florida.

Across Florida, 57 percent of third-graders were at or above grade level in reading, and 58 percent met or exceeded the standards in math.

For Manatee, the results were nearly the same as 2012: Math scores were up by a point, while reading scores overall fell by a point.

Here is a look at the percentage of third-graders scoring at or above grade level in reading and math in some Bradenton elementary schools:

  • Ballard Elementary School: 46 percent in reading, 32 percent in math.
  • William H. Bashaw School: 53 percent reading, 61 percent math.
  • Bayshore Elementary School: 39 percent in reading, 33 percent in math.
  • Manatee Elementary School: 28 percent in reading, 40 percent in math.

See the attached pdf files and look under Manatee to see scores for other Bradenton schools and the rest of the state.

Florida’s passing rates have dropped after exams were changed and a more rigorous scoring system implemented.

Teacher evaluations are partially based on students’ FCAT scores.

School letter grades are set to be released in July,

Students’ individual FCAT results will be distributed to parents by schools later.

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canary May 25, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Well when the school board and administration can't do math either what did you think? We don't have an ability to make accounting happen at the top end of what schools should be doing, fiscal responsibility and educational responsibility.
John Otis May 25, 2013 at 08:12 PM
Just where are our taxpayer dollars going? We sure aren't getting our money's worth.
maria May 25, 2013 at 11:11 PM
Are 8 percentage points really enough difference between the state average and Manatee county's results that you think you should be emphasizing how poor we are doing? Really? Yes, there is definitely a need for improvement everywhere....as we should always strive to improve. Unfortunately, our achievement test isn't taken by students across the nation, so we never will truly know if there are flaws in the test (or how it is scored)...or are the children from Florida really lagging behind. Because 57% pass rate is definitely unacceptable. I wonder how the increased class sizes next year will improve their performance?!!
mike May 26, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Quit wasting time teaching the FCAT for the first half of year and teach the kids, and they will probably do better.
Travlar May 26, 2013 at 01:14 AM
Besides the debacle of the school board, wasn't it just last summer that the FCAT scores were screwed up by the state? So from state to county, inept administrational leaders and members. Where's the accountability?? ( the same place Manatee county schools money is.............gone)

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