All but one Flagler County public or charter school scored an A or a B. The exception was Palm Harbor Academy, a charter, which scored an F. The state’s teachers union cautioned against making much of the results absent a more reliable testing system.
As reading and math scores improved statewide in most grades, despite tougher standards, Flagler County students lost ground over last year’s results, and struggled to keep up with state averages.
Out of 988 students who took the test in Flagler County, 130, or 13 percent, scored only a 1 on a scale of 5, and will be held back, absent improvements in summer reading school, which the district offers free.
As expected, Flagler County’s writing scores for 4th, 8th and 10th graders, released today, fell precipitously as the state imposed a new writing standard and a new passing grade, but itself failed to convey those standards clearly to teachers and principals ahead of time.
The lower scores can have serious implications on school grades, students’ promotions and graduations, merit pay and evaluations for teachers. The state Board of Education called an emergency meeting for Tuesday to rethink its approach.
FCAT testing began this week, and with a dozen tests administered by computer only, to save money, teachers in several Flagler schools are reporting students being arbitrarily logged off, losing work and time and worsening already stressful conditions.
The Department of Education and testing company Pearson are still playing word games over the cause and extent of the delay, which ruined district and student planning for fall.