Commissioner Stewart Keeps Focus On Accountability With Florida Standards Assessments Passing Score Recommendations


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September 28, 2015

DOE Press Office
850-245-0413

Commissioner Stewart Keeps Focus On Accountability With Florida Standards Assessments Passing Score Recommendations

Tallahassee, Fla., September 28, 2015 – Today, Education Commissioner Pam Stewart released her recommended passing scores for the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA). The new FSA test, which was validated by three independent expert reviews, continues to ensure improved student achievement and allows Florida to inform parents of a school’s performance through the school grading system. The scores were established by delicately balancing the tough requirements of high standards with the understanding that Florida students are on a continual journey of improvement founded on the legacy of transformational accountability in Florida’s public education system. To access additional information regarding Commissioner Stewart’s recommendations, click here.

Commissioner Stewart said, “We want Florida students to get the skills they need to be competitive in the global economy. The scoring recommendations were developed with teachers, parents, state board members, superintendents, higher education representatives, Florida’s business community and the public. These recommendations are in line with the performance we should expect from our state’s students at each grade level for each subject in order to prepare today’s students for future success.”  

As important as these tests are, it is critical to note that, in Florida, no test is used as the single determinant for promotion or graduation decisions. Districts have already made promotion decisions using their standard procedures for students who took the test in the spring of 2015.

The commissioner’s FSA passing score recommendations are critical for determining whether students learned what they are expected to know at every grade level. Each time a new assessment is administered, the department conducts a comprehensive process through which passing scores are determined. Assessments and the corresponding passing scores are critical because they serve as a barometer of students’ knowledge and guide students, educators and parents to make necessary adjustments for improvement. 

Stakeholder Input to Help Develop Recommendations:

In developing these recommendations, Commissioner Stewart took into account recommendations from educators, community members, superintendents, state board of education members and members of the public. Below are some of the key public hearing opportunities that have been taken to develop today’s recommendations:

  • Achievement Level Description Panel: In April, DOE held the Achievement Level Description (ALD) Panel, a four-day workshop with 42 educators to recommend passing scores and specified student expectations at each achievement level.
  • Educator Panel: During the week of August 31, DOE held the Educator Panel, which consisted of more than 300 K-12 and postsecondary educator panelists from across Florida. Educators, who are knowledgeable about the test content and the population of test-takers, provided expert judgments that were used to form recommended cut scores for each achievement level for each assessment.
  • Reactor Panel: On September 10 and 11, DOE convened a diverse group of education stakeholders from across Florida for the Reactor Panel. This group reviewed the outcomes from the Educator Panel and other relevant information to provide feedback for the commissioner’s consideration. In addition, when the commissioner met with almost all of the superintendents at their statewide meeting Thursday, Sept. 24, she requested input to inform her recommendations.
  • Panels’ Recommendations: On September 15, DOE posted the recommendations from both panels online.
  • State Board Meeting: At the September State Board of Education meeting, there were preliminary discussions about the passing scores.
  • Public Workshops: DOE hosted three workshops, one in the form of a statewide webinar, where all members of the public were invited to attend, ask questions and submit feedback in response to the educator and reactor panel recommendations.

Floridians were also provided an opportunity to provide input through an online form and by email at assessment@fldoe.org. The department will continue accepting public input up until the State Board of Education adopts the achievement level cut scores.

Next Steps

  • State Board of Education Action: The State Board of Education is planning to take action on passing scores at its January meeting. This is the final step of this process.

Below is a detailed breakdown of today’s recommendations.

 

Percent of Students at Each Achievement Level: English Language Arts

 
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8
Grade 9
Grade 10

Level 1
22%
21%
20%
23%
24%
22%
23%
23%

Level 2
25%
25%
28%
26%
24%
22%
24%
26%

Level 3
27%
27%
26%
23%
23%
26%
22%
22%

Level 4
18%
19%
19%
21%
18%
18%
20%
20%

Level 5
7%
8%
7%
8%
11%
11%
11%
9%

Level 3 and Above (Passing)
53%
54%
52%
51%
51%
55%
53%
51%

 

Percent of Students at Each Achievement Level: Mathematics

 
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8

Level 1
22%
23%
22%
26%
25%
29%

Level 2
20%
18%
23%
24%
23%
26%

Level 3
27%
28%
25%
23%
27%
26%

Level 4
21%
20%
19%
19%
16%
12%

Level 5
10%
12%
11%
8%
9%
7%

Level 3 and Above (Passing)
58%
59%
55%
50%
52%
45%

 

Percent of Students at Each Achievement Level: End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments

 
Algebra 1
Geometry
Algebra 2

Level 1
31%
29%
44%

Level 2
14%
19%
20%

Level 3
30%
31%
23%

Level 4
14%
11%
6%

Level 5
11%
10%
7%

Level 3 and Above (Passing)
56%
53%
36%

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