Education

Statewide test results for 2019 have been released. Here’s how Manatee students did

After enjoying widespread progress in 2018, the Manatee County School District didn’t perform as well on several components of the recent Florida Standards Assessments, though Manatee remained at or above the state average in at least four categories.

The Florida Department of Education released scores and district comparisons on Friday evening. Each category listed the percentage of students who achieved a Level 3 or higher, based on a 1-5 scale:

  • Level 1 — Inadequate, highly likely to need substantial support for the next grade.
  • Level 2 — below satisfactory, likely to need substantial support for the next grade.
  • Level 3 — satisfactory, may need additional support for the next grade.
  • Level 4 — Proficient, likely to excel in the next grade.
  • Level 5 — Mastery, highly likely to excel in the next grade.

In its news release, Manatee focused on students’ progress at individual grade levels, noting that a majority of grade levels improved or remained the same in mathematics and English language arts. It said the district also made gains in the Geometry End-of-Course Assessment.

“I believe overall, the results we received today reflect a continuation of an upward trend in the performance of our students and schools,” Superintendent Cynthia Saunders said in a prepared statement.

“I am so thankful for the hard work and dedication of our teachers, principals and all of our support employees,” she continued. “It takes everyone working together to move our students forward.”

The FSA scores play a large part in school grades, which should be released in early July. A list of school-level results is available on the DOE’s website.

“For the first time this spring, the administration of statewide assessments followed the requirements outlined in House Bill 7069 from the 2017 legislative session, which called for testing later in the school year over fewer days to maximize student learning,” the state said in a news release.

FSA English Language Arts for grades three to 10

Manatee continued its momentum in English Language Arts after increasing its score from 50 to 51 percent in 2018.

This year, the district again increased its score by 1 percentage point, from 51 to 52 percent, though it remained behind the state average by 3 percentage points.

FSA and End-of-Course Assessment in mathematics for grades three to eight

After increasing its score by 1 percentage point in 2018, the district achieved an even bigger leap this year.

Manatee increased its math score by 4 percentage points, from 57 to 61 percent, bringing it on par with the state average.

Statewide Science Assessment for fifth grade

After a healthy increase in 2018, from 43 to 49 percent, the district lost 1 percentage point this year.

At 48 percent proficiency, Manatee remained 5 percentage points below the state average.

Statewide Science Assessment and Biology 1 EOC for eighth grade

Manatee again fell backward after making gains in 2018, losing 1 percentage point this year.

At 45 percent of students achieving a Level 3 or higher, the district remained 6 percentage points behind the state average.

Biology 1 EOC for grades six through 12

After holding steady from 2017 to 2018, Manatee’s score decreased 3 percentage points this year.

Though its score dropped from 71 to 68 percent, the district remained 1 percentage point above the state average.

Civics EOC for grades four through 12

In 2018, Manatee gained 12 percentage points in the civics category.

The district’s score decreased by 1 percentage point this year, from 78 to 77 percent — still 6 percentage points above the state average.

U.S. History EOC for grades four through 12

The district again lost progress after jumping from 65 to 71 percent in 2018.

This year, it decreased 1 percentage point, from 71 to 70 percent. It remained 1 percentage point above the state average.

Giuseppe Sabella, education reporter for the Bradenton Herald, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He spent time at the Independent Florida Alligator, the Gainesville Sun and the Florida Times-Union. His coverage of education in Manatee County earned him a first place prize in the Florida Society of News Editors’ 2019 Journalism Contest. Giuseppe also spent one year in Charleston, W.Va., earning a first-place award for investigative reporting.
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