SEBRING — End-of-course assessment results released Monday by the Florida Department of Education show Highlands County trailing the state in the percentage of students passing the Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology 1 and U.S. History assessments.
State Education Commission Pam Stewart called the statewide results “great news” with scores up in all four tested subjects.
In the spring administration of the Algebra 1 EOC, statewide, 66 percent of the students achieved a passing score in Level 3 or above, with 57 percent passing the assessment in Highlands County.
The passing percentage on the Algebra 1 EOC for the district’s high schools follows: Avon Park, 57 percent; Lake Placid, 42 percent; and Sebring 46 percent.
The following FDOE data is also from the springtime administration of the EOC assessments, which are also given in the winter and fall.
The Geometry EOC passing percentages follow: statewide, 64 percent; Highlands, 49 percent; Avon Park High, 46 percent; Lake Placid High, 42 percent; and Sebring High, 53 percent.
The Biology 1 EOC passing percentages follow: statewide, 68 percent; Highlands, 63 percent; Avon Park High, 52 percent; Lake Placid High, 69 percent; and Sebring High 66 percent.
The U.S. History EOC passing percentages follow: statewide, 65 percent; Highlands, 60 percent; Avon Park High, 65 percent; Lake Placid High, 57 percent; and Sebring High, 58 percent.
Highlands Director of Secondary Programs Ruth Heckman said she didn’t have a chance to analyze the results because they just came in and she has been busy with the start of summer school.
“I know that some of our schools seem to do better than others,” she said. “Our middle schools are always pretty good in algebra.”
Some advanced students take Algebra 1 in seventh- or eighth-grade, she said. “We actually have students in some schools who take geometry in the eighth-grade and, of course, those are the top students who choose to accelerate. We have some good kids who choose not to do that.”
The FDOE Southwest District press release noted that Glades County is one of 13 counties in the state to improve on all four assessment areas. Hendry and Lee counties improved in three of the four assessment areas.
The Civics EOC Assessment was administered for the first time in spring 2014. The achievement levels are yet to be determined by a standard-setting process. The results were reported using a mean scale.
With the state mean score of 50, following are the mean scores for the Highlands County School District and its middle schools: Highlands, 48; Avon Park, 46; Hill-Gustat, 49; Lake Placid, 48; and Sebring, 50.
The EOC assessments account for 30 percent of the student’s final grade for the course.
Also, a student must pass the Algebra 1 EOC assessment until the state transitions to a common core Algebra I assessment after which time a student must pass the common core assessment in order to earn a standard high school diploma, according to the FDOE.