TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Education has released another round of FCAT results and is describing the scores as better than expected.
The scores show 59 percent of Florida's students in grades four through eight are reading at grade level. That is compared with 57 percent last year.
In Math, 57 percent of students in grades four through eight are performing at grade level. That's up from 56 percent last year.
The department also released science scores for fifth and eighth graders. Fifty-one percent of fifth graders passed the test, while only 46 percent of eighth graders earned a passing score.
"They're basically what we expected. There are some grade levels where students did a little bit better than expected but in general, overall, students performed as we would expect," said Jane Fletcher of the Florida Department of Education.
Florida's students took a tougher FCAT this year and that could result in lower school grades. Those won't be tallied until later this summer but Fletcher says the state will give schools some leeway in their grades.
For example, the state Board of Education already decided no school can drop more than one grade level as a result of this year's FCAT scores.
Fletcher is choosing to view the latest test scores positively.
"I think it's great that on these new higher standards they're doing what we thought they could do and in some areas doing even better than what we expected."
The state does not use these latest scores to determine whether a student can be promoted to the next grade, but individual school districts may have such policies tied to the scores.