BRADENTON -- The Florida Department of Education released more FCAT results Friday and Manatee County Schools again posted significant gains. The district scored above the state average for math in four of the six grades tested, including a 10 percent jump in 4th grade. The scores were the district's best math performance since 2008 and a significant improvement over last year. The school also made gains in reading and science scores.
3rd and 6th grade math lagged behind the state average, but still improved from last school year by 5 and 4 percent respectively. FCAT Science is given only to grades 5 and 8. Those grades were also released Friday. 5th grade scores in Manatee County improved five percent from last year to close within four points of the state average, while 8th grade improved two points to close within two points of the state average.
FCAT Reading assessments are given in grades 3-10. Manatee improved in three grades, held even in three others and lost ground in two (7th and 9th grades), the only two categories the district saw a decrease in scores this year. Manatee Schools posted gains in all five FCAT categories when the first wave of scores was announced May 23. The FCAT Writing portion has also been released by the state. Grade 4 scores beat the state average for the first time ever. Grade 8 and 10 writing scores fell short by 11 and six points respectively, but still improved.
“We’re very proud of our students, teachers, principals and parents for showing a tremendous level of improvement this year,” said Superintendent Rick Mills. “It’s a testament to their professionalism and dedication that even during this challenging school year our schools have remained focused on our number one mission of educating our children.”
In the last year, the district has executed a financial turnaround of more than $16 million and continues to be plagued by the discovery of past financial misdeeds that have set it back more than $20 million. Mills came on board in late March of 2014 and has replaced nearly the entire top tier of leadership, including Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum Dr. Dianna Greene. Greene has earned widespread praise for focusing attention on the district's weak spots and helping to improve performance, especially at Title 1 schools.
Click here to see a complete analysis of scores for all schools and districts in the state.
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