State educators thrilled about FCAT results - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

State educators thrilled about FCAT results

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State education commissioner Dr. Tony Bennett addressing students at Starkey elementary State education commissioner Dr. Tony Bennett addressing students at Starkey elementary
HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

The FCAT results are in and state officials are happy with what they see.

Statewide, the math numbers stayed the same, but scores are up in both the writing and reading tests.

At a press conference at Starkey Elementary School in Seminole, one teacher stood at the podium and said, "I'm so proud of each and every one of you!"

With the arrival of this year's FCAT results, state education officials are giving teachers and students a pat on the back.

State commissioner of education Dr. Tony Bennett said, "The gains you've made, the improvements you've made in your writing scores indicate how inspired and how inspiring your teachers have been."

Over the past year, 4th graders made a significant improvement in writing. State educators set a benchmark of a score of 3.5.  In 2013, 9% more 4th graders reached that benchmark compared to last year. 8th and 10th graders showed improvement too. In both grades 2% more students reached that benchmark compared to last year.

"Writing is a significant improvement and it's actually the result of a lot of hard work, attention to detail," said Bennett.

But this achievement is not across the board.In reading, Florida third graders achieving a level 3 or above improved by only 1%, and in math third graders remained flat.

"Frankly, a one point gain in reading is not where I want it to be, that's not the headline but we should keep that in our minds," said Bennett.

"We have to keep moving forward and we think that with good data gives us a good place to start again, targeting professional development, targeting training, targeting improved instruction in our classrooms and improve learning by our students."

State educators say they're going to continue to raise the bar, but so far, they really like what they see.

And in recent years, one thorn on the side of educators has been cell phones.

Officials say texting has negatively impacted student writing and sentence structure.

So Dr. Bennett is hopeful these improved numbers show that students are learning and practicing proper writing despite the phones 

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