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Alachua County third-grade reading performance continues to drop

BY LEN CABRERA

Third Grade Florida Standards Assessments scores for English Language Arts for the 2021-22 school year are now available from the Florida Department of Education. Reading performance in Alachua County continued to drop this year, and the performance gap between Alachua County third-graders and the rest of the state is growing.

School performance is reported as the percentage of students who score “satisfactory” or better (i.e., score 3 or higher on a scale of 1 to 5). For the 2021-22 school year, only 50% of Alachua County third-graders scored 3 or better, compared to 53% for the state. These are down from 52.5% for Alachua County and 54.4% for the state in the 2020-21 school year.

The data are not yet broken down demographically or by other indicators like English Language Learner status, so we don’t yet know about the black-white performance gap. However, the performance gap between Alachua County and the rest of the state has been growing since the 2017-18 school year. The 2014-15 school year was the last time Alachua County third-graders performed better than the rest of the state.

Of the 31 Alachua County schools listed in the results, 9 had less than 40% of third-graders with satisfactory or better performance (the results for Sidney Lanier Center are suppressed in the table because of the low number of third-graders, but it is one of the nine); three schools were below 20%–Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Myra Terwilliger, and The Einstein School. .

Four Alachua County schools were above 75%: Talbot Elementary, Caring & Sharing Learning School, Alachua Learning Academy, and Expression Learning Arts Academy. Three of these (all except Talbot) are charter schools.

Here are the results for Alachua County by school, ranked from lowest to highest in percentage of third-graders at Level 3 or above (this is the “School Scores for All Curriculum Groups” Grade 3 (Excel) file on the website linked at the start of this article):

  • Those 3rd graders were probably too busy learning about gender identity and how they can choose their sex at 8 years old to learn about real subjects. Also woke crazed liberal zealot teachers who’d rather stay at home.,

  • It doesn’t surprise me and they never should have shut the schools down because of sniffles 2019…Go back to basics: Real books, chalkboards, open
    The windows. Reading, writing, arithmetic.
    Start the day with the pledge of allegiance & a moment of
    Silent meditation. No cell phones, no internet. 30 students
    Per classroom. The school board tortured the students
    With face mask & social distancing. The on-line at home
    Thing was a failure. Keep politics out of classroom.
    Don’t confuse them with gender identity issues,
    Mothers & fathers are dealing with that.

  • Expressions Learning Arts Academy is doing something
    Right. They are a charter school. What are they doing
    Differently than the others…must have excellent teachers.

    • Or little district/government oversight and autonomy to do the things that really work

    • Hand picking students probably helps. The non-charter public schools don’t get to be selective

  • Do private schools like St Patrick’s test? How are they comparing to the public schools?!

  • I hear some children are having to go to speech pathologists cause they sound like they are talking
    Through a mask. The reason being that they didn’t see facial
    Lip movements, now they can’t make the correct sounds.

    • Zak Henry: There was a video of this mother who
      Confused the heck out of her child with the new
      Gender pronouns…the kid kept using “they” cause
      Boy & girl didn’t matter. Kept getting his grammar wrong.
      No wonder reading and writing testing is going down.

      • Thanks for the feedback River Waters and company! That really nails it. What the heck are they doing with the next generation of our kids that will be in charge in a few short years and who we will be dependent on.

  • This proves the need for more early intervention in kindergarten and first grade. Instead ACPS waits until third grade when kids are in crisis. I taught third grad twice in ACPS and was a K and 1 teacher from California. This kids didn’t know alphabet sounds and basic CVC phonics so instead of following the curriculum, we went back to K and 1 materials and powered through three years of learning into 1 year. I’m proud to say that ALL my kiddos passed at 3 or above. Also classroom management skills are needed which many teachers don’t have. After 4 years with ACPS and horrible pay, I retired. I miss my kids but not incompetent administrators and 50% of staff who were just collecting a paycheck. The school board was horrible then. Hoping for a big change this year!

    • Wow! You sound like a great teacher. The school system
      Needs more like you…

    • Than you for doing your job despite liberal zealot ridiculousness of that horrible teachers union that Joe blow Biden so powerfully endorsed while campaigning and continues to avoid criticism of, all for votes of course. Many In Alachua county are right there with him, Not satisfied, they want gov paid afternoon care (dem idea reprogramming) for all, as collier Poe has idealized many times.

  • Did they eliminate Dr. Seuss? Those were the best
    Beginner books…green eggs & ham…one fish, 2 fish, red fish, blue fish…

  • How are they doing in arithmetic? Is that dropping too?
    Why is their performance dropping?

    • We need to stop being a sad broke woke joke of a county so that more excellent teachers will want to live here. Stop it with the equity/race card nonsense. Expel unruly students.

      • I agree. The ACSB has shown us what tyrants they
        Are over the last 2 years. They should never have
        Shut the schools down for Covid, kids were never
        At risk. The face masks intended purpose is: to scare
        People to keep their distance…masks only further
        Traumatized the children. The teachers unions are
        To blame too…they refused to work and keep schools
        Open…they didn’t care about the children…they all
        Got paid not to work and the children suffered. It’s
        Important for kids to have a childhood and those first
        Few years are very important to build a good foundation.

  • Just as quickley as Joe Biden has destroyed America’s propesperity, the Ken Cornell Candidate Carley Simon bestowed alachua county’s school system with politically driven financial chaos.. Elected by a fraud on the school board , has not returned her salary yet. The fraud member that put her in that position has not returned he illgotten gains while accepting a salary . Following the footsteps is Money Bags Alford on the ACBOC, accepting a salary while in office illegally. What a Legacy. Until Democrat Leadership and politics get out of our school system there will be uneccesary financial hardships, massive exedous of students, excelling teachers and staff leaving and the current Board is as clueless as the Supervisor of Election. All unnacountable. Hell they could simply fire GRU and Hook all schools up to Clay Electic and make up the millions they have cost taxpayers with their fight and lawsuits against good Solid Goverernance . Do they need an state audit like the one that just exposed the City of Ganesville and GRU Finances?

    • the term ‘committee’ refers to a group of vultures resting on the ground or in trees

  • “And the Cradle Will Rock…” is a song written and performed by Van Halen. It appears on their 1980 album Women and Children First

  • Please do not teach the kids to read. Society needs illiterate adults. For example, they form the pool of potential candidates to run for Gainesville City Commission. And 100% of the folks who vote Republican.

  • This is so crushing sad. We have another 70 4th graders who can’t read, who would be able to do so if only they were in an *average* Florida school. Their futures have been stolen from them by ACSB and its parade of underlings as surely as if somebody robbed them with a gun. So the school board debates spending the annual cost of a teacher or two on a new strategic plan while parents of moderate means are rushing for the exits. Thank God an election is coming.

  • This is another why homeschool families are multiplying. Your glorified public education has been in shambles for decades. But the left loves illiterate, illogical voters, so it’s all good.

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