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FCAT scores lower for third graders, state drops standards for more students to pass

The portion of Florida third graders who could be held back jumped to 18 percent this year as a result of low scores on the state’s rigorous new standardized reading exam, the Huffington Post reports. That figure represents 36,577 students who face possible retention — up from 32,429 last year, according to the Associated Press. Students must score a 2 or better on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, which is graded on a 1 to 5 scale, to be promoted to the fourth grade. Students who fail have an opportunity for redemption on an alternative skills assessment, which could include a student work portfolio or summer courses. Across the state, 56 percent of third-graders passed the reading exam with a score of 3 or higher — officials were expecting students to score lower on the exams this year after the state raised the passing standard in December…

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