The Florida Department of Education released 2011 Florida Assessment Comprehensive Test 2.0 math, science and reading scores for a variety of grades between 4 and 11 on Monday.

“Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith today announced the 2011 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test 2.0 (FCAT 2.0) Reading results for grades 4-10, FCAT 2.0 Mathematics results for grades 4-8, FCAT Mathematics results for grade 10 and FCAT Science results for grades 5, 8 and 11,” according to a Department of Education press release.

“I’m very encouraged by the continued progress we are seeing in science, but the overall performance of our students is still far too low,” said Commissioner Eric Smith, according to the release.

The state’s comprehensive assessment test is under a transition process from FCAT to FCAT 2.0. Through FCAT 2.0 and Florida End-of-Course Assessments, the programs will measure student achievement according to the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards.

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, “state officials have cautioned against making year-to-year comparisons between the revamped tests and last year’s because the new FCAT is intended to be more difficult.”

The Palm Beach Post explains:

Because the FCAT 2.0 is new, the state is not setting achievement levels for those exams yet. Instead, the scoring for this year’s tests in math and reading will be reported on the old FCAT scale as FCAT equivalent scores.

That means, for instance, that since 9 percent of sixth-graders statewide scored a 5 (on a five-point scale) on the math exam last year, only the top 9 percent of sixth-graders statewide will score a 5 this year.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that “Florida students did better this year on the FCAT science exams, though fewer than half those tested scored at grade level, results released this morning showed.”

FCAT results for third grade reading and math were released in May.

The State Board of Education will hold an emergency conference call at 8:30 a.m. on Wed., June 8, to discuss the appointment of an interim commissioner of education; current Commissioner Smith’s resignation becomes effective Fri., June 10. Smith was appointed in 2007.

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