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Broward, Dade 4th-graders excel on FCAT essays

Miami Herald - 4/25/2007 12:00:00 AM
by Nirvi Shah

Broward fourth-, eighth- and 10th-graders -- along with Miami-Dade fourth-graders -- outperformed the rest of the state on the writing section of the FCAT, according to results released Wednesday. Students in both counties weren't as successful with the multiple-choice part of the writing exam, which tests grammar and punctuation.

About 86 percent of Broward fourth-graders and 82 percent of Miami-Dade fourth-graders scored at least a 3.5 out of 6 on the essay portion of the writing test. That score is the minimum for being considered functioning at grade level.

Eighth-graders in Broward beat the rest of the state, with 90 percent earning at least that score, compared to 86 percent of students statewide. Miami-Dade students were close, with 84 percent of eighth-graders writing at grade level.

Of Broward 10th-graders, 79 percent scored at least a 3.5 on the essay, compared to 79 percent of sophomores statewide. In Miami-Dade, 77 percent of 10th-graders did as well.

The multiple-choice section of the exam, which combined with the essay test will be a graduation requirement for next year's sophomores, proved more difficult than the essay.

In Broward, the average score was 301 out of 500 -- just one point above the score students will need for their diplomas. In Dade, it was 284.