Slightly over half of Florida students pass FCAT

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

New Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test numbers released Friday show slightly more than half of Florida students have passed the state's standardized math and reading exams.
 
Results released Friday by the Department of Education show 58 percent of third through eighth-grade students passed the statewide reading assessment, up one percent from the previous year.
 
Fifty-six percent of third through eighth-grade students passed the math test, the same as in 2013.
 
In science, 54 percent of fifth-grade students passed, up one percent from last year. Forty-nine percent of eighth-grade students passed the science test, a two point increase.

Palmetto Elementary School in Orange County was rated an F school according to test results from last year, but the teachers and staff proved they weren't going to accept a failing grade.

Palmetto saw double-digit gains in nearly every category of FCAT testing.

"We all knew in our heart that we were doing the right thing, and the kids had it in them," said teacher Joanna Brown.

The principal said the school had several obstacles to overcome, including the fact that the majority of their students are Haitian and speak another language.

This year marks the last administration of the FCAT. Students will take a new exam aligned with the Common Core standards next year.