Education

Escambia Co. improves literacy by 5 pts, Santa Rosa 13 pts.

May 28, 2011

I am a numbers geek. Looking at the third grade FCAT scores that were released this week, I became curious as to how prepared these children were when they started school as kindergarteners in 2007-08 school year and how much did they improve.

Under the No Child Left Behind program, kindergarteners are tested for their school readiness. How well has Escambia County School District done in improving these children’s reading skills?

This is what I found:

A larger number of this year’s third grade class in Escambia County started kindergarten in 2007-08 not knowing their letters or sounds than in Santa Rosa (Letter Naming Fluency Readiness–Esc 67% SR 75%; Initial Sound Fluency Readiness–Esc 65% SR 73%) and showed less improvement on the FCAT reading four years later (Scoring 3 or above: Esc 72%-5 pts improvement SR 88% -13 pts improvement).

Kindergarten students were screened during the first 30 calendar days of the beginning of school using the Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS). The FLKRS is made up of a subset of the Early Childhood Observation System (ECHOS)- an observational instrument that is used to monitor the skills, knowledge, and behaviors a student demonstrates or needs to develop- and two probes of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS)- Letter Naming Fluency (LNF) and Initial Sound Fluency (ISF).

These are Escambia County school readiness scores for the year 2007-08, when this year’s third graders started kindergarten:

ECHOS Ready
District: 89% State: 88%

DIBELS LNF Ready
District: 67% State: 72%

DIBELS ISF Ready
District: 68% State: 65 %

—-Four years later, these kindergartners improved to where 72 percent made a three or higher on the FCAT reading–improvement in Reading was 5 pts over the 2007-08 DIBELS LNF percentage.

In contrast, Santa Rosa County ‘s third graders starter with higher scores when they entered kindergarten in 2007-2008:
ECHOS Ready: 92% DIBELS LNF Ready: 75% DIBELS ISF: 73%

Four years later, the Santa Rosa kindergartners improved to where 88 percent made a three or higher on the FCAT reading—improvement in the District of 13 pts over the 2007-08 DIBELS LNF percentage.

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