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Middle schoolers post gains for FCAT

They improve in both reading and math. But for the county's 10th-graders, the percent of proficient readers hovers around one-third.

By MARY SPICUZZA
Published May 24, 2006


Reading scores for Pasco County sixth- and seventh-graders increased dramatically this year, following a statewide trend for middle school students, according to Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test results released Tuesday.

In Pasco, 68 percent of sixth-graders and 62 percent of seventh-graders are reading at grade level. That's an increase of 10 and 8 points from last year, respectively.

"We're pleased," superintendent Heather Fiorentino said. "We're heading in the right direction. It's due to hard-working teachers, and students that are working hard in the classroom."

Statewide, 64 percent of sixth-graders and 61 percent of seventh-graders are reading at grade level, each up 8 points from 2005.

Tuesday's release included math and reading scores for grades 4-10. Third-grade results, released earlier this month, showed the number of Pasco third-graders reading at grade level (Level 3 and above) increased from about 66 percent last year to 75 percent this year.

Reading scores for Pasco students increased in all grades except fourth and fifth, which dropped nine and two points, respectively.

And in 10th grade, scores increased only slightly - from 30 percent reading at grade level last year to 32 percent this year.

That means 68 percent of Pasco 10th-graders are not reading at grade level.

Math scores for Pasco students were up in all grades except fifth and ninth, which dropped slightly from 2005.

District officials credited student achievements in reading to a districtwide focus on reading instruction, including teacher training, additional instruction time, and the placement of reading coaches at all secondary schools and at some elementary schools.

Mary Spicuzza covers education in Pasco County. She can be reached in west Pasco at 727 869-6241 or toll-free at 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6241. Her e-mail address is mspicuzza@sptimes.com

[Last modified May 24, 2006, 12:35:22]


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