Commissioner Stewart argued during yesterday’s State Board of Education meeting that her recommendations for FSA cut scores are more rigorous than last year’s FCAT cut scores. The plot above compares the passing rates that would result from the Commissioner’s recommendations on the FSA math exams to the passing rates on the 2014 FCAT math exams, and to the 2013 and 2015 NAEP proficiency rates for Florida.
Commissioner Stewart’s recommendations for the 2015 FSA math tests would result in passing rates that are incrementally lower than those on the 2014 FCAT exams. However, the recommended 2015 passing rates are still much higher than the NAEP proficiency rates. Furthermore, the Commissioner’s recommendations do not account for the sharp drop in middle school math proficiency revealed in yesterday’s 2015 NAEP results release.
In looking at the graph, the reader should keep in mind that the 8th grade FCAT and FSA results drop dramatically compared to 6th and 7th grades because Florida law prohibits 8th graders taking either Algebra 1 or Geometry from taking the standard 8th grade math test – and that is more than one-third of the strongest 8th graders. It makes more sense to compare 6th and 7th grade FCAT/FSA scores to the 8th grade NAEP results.