Marion County third grade student performance ranks among the lowest in the state according to recently released test results from the Florida Department of Education.
Despite being one of the few counties to maintain pre-pandemic student performance levels, test results for the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) for third grade students show that Marion County third graders are lagging behind in English language arts.
The results were released by the department on June 22.
The FSA evaluates student performance and assigns an achievement level from 1 to 5. The statewide results show percentage breakdowns of what levels students achieved, with special note to those performing at level 3 or above.
This year’s results show that across the state of Florida, the percentage of those performing at or above level 3 was 54%, compared with 58% in 2019.
Marion County third grade students, on the other hand, maintained the same level of performance in both 2019 and 2021 of 44% at or above level 3. That places Marion County in the bottom ten counties for students testing below satisfactory.
According to the state, level 3 indicates satisfactory performance, with level 1 considered inadequate and level 2 below satisfactory.
Of the 2,983 third grade students who were assessed, over 920 of them (31%) received the lowest achievement level of 1. That ranks Marion County in the bottom ten counties in Florida.
No data exists for 2020 as statewide assessment test administrations were cancelled for that school year on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state report indicates that performance is up by one percentage point (54% vs. 53%) from when the test was first administered in 2015. Charter school performance was higher than non-charter school performance by 8 percentage points (61% vs. 53%).