1st look at state's new standardized tests scores show large number of Duval Co. students failing

Duval County student test results some of lowest in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The first round of results from the Florida Student Assessment tests that students around the state took at the end of the 2014-2015 school year are in. Results of the statewide test that replaced FCAT do not bode well for Duval County and many other local districts.

The state breaks down the scores for reading, algebra and geometry into four quartiles. In reading tests, 30 percent of Duval County third- through 10th-graders scored in the bottom 25 percent, more than any other district in Northeast Florida. 

Only 21 percent of Duval County students scored in the top quartile for reading.

Duval County school Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti is not happy about the scores and wrote a scathing letter about the results to local principals.

"I unfortunately have little confidence in the relevancy of this year's performance data due to the state's inappropriate transition to a new assessment and accountability system that was fraught with limited and contradictory information, inadequate field testing and level setting of achievement scores, alignment to the new standards, and a fragile online testing platform. You and especially our students deserve better," Vitti wrote.

Vitti appeared Thursday on The Morning Show to discuss the results and why he feels so strongly about the way the Florida Department of Education handled the scores.

"Information is being sent out by the state with little information. It's not the same kind of information that we've received in the past, and this is why everyone is saying at the school level and the district level, this should be a year of transition," Vitti told Jennifer Waugh.

Vitti said while Duval County did score poorly on the test compared to surrounding counties, the districts are different.

"For the most part, we educate children who are more likely to grow up in poverty and that has detrimental effect on student achievement. But ultimately, we're looking at this data as a baseline year and building off of that," Vitti said.

The superintendent also called the state's implementation of the tests, "haphazard."

In Clay County, only 19 percent of students scored in the lowest quartile of the reading tests, while 26 percent were in the top quartile.

St. Johns County students, which again had the highest test score results in the state, had 42 percent placing in the top quartile and only 12 percent were in the lowest 25 percent.

Grades 3-10 reading | Algebra 1 end-of-course | Geometry end-of-course

Individual school and district grades have not yet been released by the state. Superintendents and school boards across the state have asked that grades not be issued based on the first year testing, but the DOE plans to proceed with the grading.