Alachua County students beat state average on algebra test


Published: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 11:41 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 1, 2012 at 5:57 p.m.

Alachua County students performed above the state average on the Algebra 1 end-of-course exam this year, according to results released by the state Department of Education on Friday.

Sixty-five percent of students in the county earned a passing grade, surpassing the state average of 58 percent. The test was given to high school students and high-performing math students in middle school.

Superintendent Dan Boyd said in a news release that the scores indicate good teaching in local schools.

"Our teachers are giving our students a strong foundation in math and science," he said. "And that's reflected in these scores."

Among the 1,147 Alachua County high school students who took the test, ninth-graders performed the best, with 61 percent passing.

Students who entered ninth grade this year are required by the state to pass the exam in order to earn the algebra credit required to graduate. The middle school students who passed have already met this requirement.

The percentage of students statewide who passed eclipsed the state's predictions. Officials had expected to see 55 percent pass.

State officials were pleased with the results overall.

"I'm extremely proud of our students for their hard work and achievement on the Algebra 1 End-of-Course Assessment," said Education Commissioner Gerard Robinson in a statement. "I want to thank Florida's teachers for their diligence in preparing students for this challenging assessment."

In related news, the School Board of Alachua County announced Friday it will adopt a resolution next week calling on state and federal officials to back off standardized testing and move toward more comprehensive assessment methods.

Johnson said the resolution comes at a time when the state is poised to continue what it calls "high-stakes testing."

In the resolution, the district is asking lawmakers to reduce testing mandates and make use of different forms of evaluation for students, teachers and schools.

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