FCAT Scores Down

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ The State Board of Education is voting on revising the passing grade for Florida’s standardized writing test to reduce the number of failures.

The panel called an emergency meeting Tuesday after preliminary results showed only about a third of students had passed.

That’s down from 80 percent or better on last year’s writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT.

The dramatic decrease is the result of changes that made the test more difficult and raised the passing grade from 3.5 to four on a scale of zero to six.

The emergency rule will drop the passing grade to 3.5.

That’s expected to increase the number of students passing the exam to 48 percent for 4th grade, 53 percent of 8th grade and 60 percent for 10th grade.