By B.C. Manion
Most area students are outperforming their state peers in writing, according to the first batch of Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores released last week.
In northern Hillsborough County, Martinez Middle achieved something no other area school can claim. All of its students posted a score of 4.0 or higher on the test.
The writing test is scored on a 1-6 scale, with 4 considered proficient and 6 the highest mark. It is administered to students in grades four, eight and 10, and the test results are factored in with math, reading and science scores to calculate a school’s grade.
The mean score at Martinez Middle was 5.1, well above the average of 4.2 among eighth-graders across Florida.
Other Hillsborough schools in the newspaper’s coverage area where at least 90 percent of the students scored a 4.0 or better on the writing test were Lutz, Maniscalco, McKitrick and Schwarzkopf elementary schools.
Ninety-one percent of Liberty Middle students attained a 4.0 or better. While the school is located in New Tampa, it draws some of its students from Lutz.
In central Pasco, the eighth-graders at Imagine School achieved the best results, with 92 percent scoring a 4.0 or better.
Overall, Hillsborough County fourth graders led Florida on FCAT writing scores. Ninety percent of the district’s fourth graders scored 4.0 or higher on the test, which was the best percentage in the state. Their average score of 4.4 earned the district was also the highest.
The county’s eighth graders’ average score was 4.4, with 86 percent of the students posting a score of 4.0 or higher.
The district’s 10th graders had an average score of 4.0, with at least 75 percent of those students posting a 4.0 or higher.
By comparison, Pasco County Public Schools reported that 76 percent of its fourth graders, 78 percent of its eighth graders and 73 percent of its 10th graders met the standard for proficiency, at 4.0.
District officials were pleased with their students’ progress, noting in a news release that 94 percent of their elementary schools, 80 percent of their middle schools and 69 percent of their high schools either maintained or improved the percentage of their students scoring 4.0 or higher.
The Pasco district also reported that 302 of its students attained a 6.0 on the test.
FCAT Writing Scores
Here’s how area schools performed on the FCAT Writing test given in March. Students in Grades 4, 8 and 10 take the test, which is used to help calculate the school grade. The assessment is graded on a scale of 1-6, with 4 considered proficient and 6 the highest mark.
NORTH HILLSBOROUGH Mean Percent 4.0+
Learning Gate 3.7 63
Lutz 4.5 90
Maniscalco 4.5 95
McKitrick 4.8 98
Schwarzkopf 4.6 98
Buchanan 4.3 86
Liberty 4.5 91
Martinez 5.1 100
Freedom 4.0 74
Gaither 4.2 83
Steinbrenner 4.2 85
PASCO/LAND O’ LAKES
Denham Oaks 3.8 70
Imagine School (4th) 4.0 83
Lake Myrtle 4.0 85
Oakstead 4.2 88
Imagine School (8th) 4.2 92
Pine View (4th) 3.9 82
Rushe 4.1 82
Pine View (8th) 4.2 85
Land O’ Lakes 4.0 77
Sunlake 4.0 78
STATE AVERAGES (4.0 4th; 4.2 8th; 4.0 10th)
I’d like it to be noted that the scores above for Learning Gate was 4th grade. Here is 8th grade’s #’s:
LEARNING GATE COMMUNITY SCHOOL (8th) 4.2 89