Alachua County third grade FSA scores show slight improvement

But state ranking drops from previous year


The Spring 2019 Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) for English Language Arts, Grade 3, results are now available at the Florida Department of Education website

Alachua County showed a slight improvement in the percentage of students scoring satisfactory or above (L3+), up from 56% in 2018 to 57% in 2019. However, the score puts Alachua behind the state average (58%) and tied with Hernando County for 42nd place among Florida’s 67 counties (Alachua County was tied for 37th place last year, so they’ve actually dropped, relative to the other counties); if you count all 73 reporting districts, which includes university laboratory schools, Alachua County is in 46th place. The University of Florida’s P.K. Yonge Laboratory School came in second place in the state, with 85% of 3rd-grade students scoring L3+.

In Miami-Dade County, 60% of the 3rd-graders scored L3+ in 2019. That seems odd, given that Miami-Dade County has the largest percentage of English Language Learners (ELL) in the state: nearly 20% of students, compared to Alachua’s 3%. (Percentages are based on total 2018/19 enrollment and ELL enrollment, using a value of 9 for the “**” entries (fewer than 10): 68,455 of 350,456 in Miami-Dade and 918 of 29,845 in Alachua. Florida DOE does not report ELL numbers by grade level, so those numbers are for the students body as a whole.) An interview with an elementary school teacher confirmed that all students, including ELL, take the English Language Arts FSA. 

An ELL student is “an individual who was not born in the United States and whose native language is a language other than English; an individual who comes from a home environment where a language other than English is spoken in the home; or an individual who is an American Indian or Alaskan native and who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on his or her level of English language proficiency; and who, by reason thereof, has sufficient difficulty speaking, reading, writing, or listening to the English language to deny such individual the opportunity to learn successfully in classrooms where the language of instruction is English.”

Results for Alachua and its neighboring counties:

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