YOUR STUDENTS CAN BE SUCCESSFUL!
The purpose of the FCAT Science
Lessons Learned report on the Florida
Comprehensive Assessment Test*
(FCAT) is to provide a summary and
analysis of the trends in student
achievement of the Sunshine State
Standards (SSS) in science.
(Grades 5, 8, 11)
To inform education stakeholders of the
academic progress made by Florida
students in science.
To provide guidance for educators that can
be used to effect positive change and
enhance program effectiveness.
Give insight to parents, students,
legislators, media representatives and
business organizations of the
comprehensive view of student
In 1996, the Florida educational community
identified a core body of knowledge and
skills that all Florida students should
acquire. This body of knowledge, called
the Sunshine State Standards spanned
seven content areas (language arts,
mathematics, science, social studies,
health, physical education, foreign
language and the arts). For accountability,
the development of the Florida
Comprehensive Assessment Test* (FCAT)
The legislation called for the A+ Plan for
education that required that testing for
reading and mathematics be developed.
Science test items began in 2000 for
grades 5, 8, and 10. Beginning in spring
2005, FCAT Science was administered
in Grade 11 instead of 10 to allow for
additional high-school-level science
THE GUIDING PRINCIPLE
Place emphasis on the importance of
“teaching to the standards” (SSS) rather than
“teaching to the test” (the FCAT).
In support, Lessons Learned is organized in
reporting clusters assessed on the FCAT.
Cluster 1: Physical and Chemical Sciences
Cluster 2: Earth and Space Sciences
Cluster 3: Life and Environmental Sciences
Cluster 4: Scientific Thinking
RESULTS BY CLUSTERS
Analysis of student performance data
reveals students who are successful and
identifies their strengths for each cluster.
Data shows students who are
unsuccessful and identify the areas of
greatest difficulty in each cluster.
Student is able to: Student has difficulty with:
Recognize that Explaining the roles of
repetition increases the variables and controls in
validity of an experiment experiments.
and that the Designing an experimental
experimental procedure when given a
procedures should be hypothesis.
provided to other
researchers to allow for Analyzing an experiment
replication. design for validity.
can benefit society.
Michael studied the effects of temperature
and pressure on the expansion rate of
gases. When publishing the results of the
experiment for others to study, which of the
following would be most important for
Michael to include?
A. Detail steps in the procedures used
B. Cost of the material used in the study
C. Acknowledgement of family members
D. Name of the building where the
experiments were performed
• 83% chose A
• 6% chose B
• 6% chose C
• 5% chose D