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FASS Conference 2006. FCAT Updates Linda Oravetz FCAT Science Coordinator Test Development Center Florida Department of Education. Topics . FCAT Science News Test Design & Cognitive Complexity Science & School Grading Calculations Test Item Specifications, Appendix B

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fass conference 2006
FASS Conference 2006

FCAT Updates

Linda Oravetz

FCAT Science Coordinator

Test Development Center

Florida Department of Education

Florida Department of Education


FCAT Science News

  • Test Design & Cognitive Complexity
  • Science & School Grading Calculations
  • Test Item Specifications, Appendix B
  • Test Releases 2007, 2008
  • Sample Test Materials
  • Florida Inquires & CD Training Materials
  • SSS Revisions Impact Plan
  • Other Interpretive Products

Florida Department of Education

more topics
More Topics
  • FCAT Development Summary
  • FCAT Scoring Process Summary
  • Other FCAT Information

Florida Department of Education

fcat science achievement levels
FCAT Science Achievement Levels

Scale Scores

Florida Department of Education

revised school grading rule
Revised School Grading Rule

The school grading scale will be adjusted in 2006-07 to account for the addition of the Science, and Mathematics Lowest 25 Percent components, adding 200 points to the scale.

Florida Department of Education

science and school grades
Science and School Grades

One point will be awarded for each percent of students meeting high standards by scoring in Achievement Level 3 or higher on FCAT Science

Florida Department of Education

fcat science
FCAT Science

4 Reporting Clusters

  • Physical & Chemical Sciences (Strands A–C)
  • Earth & Space Sciences (Strands D–E)
  • Life & Environmental Sciences (Strands F-G)
  • Scientific Thinking (Strand H)

Florida Department of Education

test design grades 5 8 and 11
Test DesignGrades 5, 8, and 11

Counting Toward Student Scores:

  • Approximately 25% points from each reporting cluster
  • Annually assessed benchmarks
  • Content sampled benchmarks
  • A performance task from each reporting cluster; total 3 SR, 1 ER
  • Multiple-choice items
  • Gridded-response items (grades 8 & 11)

Florida Department of Education

item types and numbers
Item Types and Numbers

Range includes operational and field-tested items:

  • Grade 5

45-55 MC, 5-7 performance tasks

  • Grades 8 and 11

40-45 MC, 3-6 GR,

5-7 performance tasks

Florida Department of Education

test design
Test Design

Percentage of points by cognitive complexity:

  • Low 15 - 25
  • Moderate 40 – 60
  • High 25 – 35

Florida Department of Education

cognitive complexity
Cognitive Complexity

Low Complexity Test Items Require

  • Recall and recognition
  • Retrieving table or chart information
  • Solving a problem using reference sheet

Florida Department of Education

cognitive complexity12
Cognitive Complexity

Moderate Complexity Test Items Require

  • Describing or explaining
  • Comparing and/or contrasting
  • Determining the next step

Florida Department of Education

cognitive complexity13
Cognitive Complexity

High Complexity Test Items Require

  • Analyzing
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Generalizing
  • Proposing method for correcting flaws

Florida Department of Education

for more information
For More Information
  • www.firn.edu/doe/sas/fcat/fcatpub2.htm
  • www.fldoe.org
    • Test design summary
    • Content focus reports
    • Cognitive Complexity
    • FCAT Rubrics
    • And much more

Florida Department of Education

item specifications
Item Specifications
  • 2002 Draft FCAT Item Specification still on DOE website
  • Current plans to add Addendum to that draft to include revised Appendix B, Rubrics, & Reference Sheets
  • Meanwhile – Appendix B available by


2007 fall releases
2007 Fall Releases


Grades 5 and 8

2007 Operational Tests

Grade 11 will be released in 2008

Florida Department of Education

released tests
Released Tests
  • The released tests are formatted to remove field-test items. All items on which scores were based are released.
  • The released tests are reformatted to fit into one document, so answer spaces and grids are with each item.


Florida Department of Education

released tests19
Released Tests

Information that is provided with test items:

  • % students who correctly answered the item
  • % students who chose each distractor (option) for MC items
  • Example of top score response for each performance task
  • Score point distribution for performance task items

Florida Department of Education

released tests20
Released Tests

Other information provided with each test item:

  • Benchmark
  • Content focus
  • Cognitive Complexity

Florida Department of Education

sss revisions

SSS Revisions

Impact Planning

sss revision s impact on fcat
SSS Revision’s Impact on FCAT
  • After the new SSS are approved by the State Board of Education, the FCAT Content Advisory Committee will meet to discuss changes needed to FCAT based on the new standards.
  • Technical Advisory Committee will review changes and make recommendations to the Department.

Florida Department of Education

minor sss revisions
Minor SSS Revisions
  • Recoding of items currently in item pool
  • Updating of Item Specifications
  • Application of new item coding to development
  • Application of new benchmark criteria to development
  • No change to test itself

Florida Department of Education

significant sss revisions
Significant SSS Revisions

After approval of new SSS: New FCAT Item Specifications prepared for Item Writer Training. Development begins on next-generation FCAT items.

Two years after approval of new SSS:

First cycle of next-generation FCAT item development complete. Test construction process begins for following year’s test.

Florida Department of Education

fcat interpretive products

FCAT Interpretive Products

Science Related Products



Sample Test Materials


Florida Inquires!

Florida Department of Education


2006 Training Materials to Districts

CD of training materials from 2006 released short response item

  • Mathematics, Reading, Science, Writing+
  • Rangefinder (Anchor) set- 10 papers
  • One Qualifying set – 10 papers
  • Annotations (score and scoring notes for both sets)
  • Quantities – 2 per district, one per school

Florida Department of Education

watch for
Watch For
  • FCAT Explorer – Grade 5 Science

Florida Department of Education

registered trademark
Registered trademark ®

FCAT Products and Resources contain the state seal to indicate that they are published by the Florida Department of Education. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test ® is now a registered trademark.

FCAT Products are sent to the District Coordinators of Assessment for dissemination.

Florida Department of Education

fcat development and scoring
FCAT Development and Scoring
  • Development Contractor – Harcourt Assessment Incorporated
  • Administration and Scoring Contractor – CTB/McGraw-Hill

Florida Department of Education

development related committees
Development Related Committees
  • Bias Review – October
  • Community Sensitivity Review – October
  • Content Review – October through November
  • Expert Review - January

Florida Department of Education


Item Development





Bias Review


Statistical Review

Expert Panel Review



FCAT Development Process

(Science only)

Florida Department of Education

scoring committees
Scoring Committees
  • Gridded-response Adjudication – April
  • Rangefinding – April through May and September
  • Rangefinder Review – November through December

Florida Department of Education


FCAT Handscoring Process

Florida Department of Education

handscoring quality controls
Handscoring Quality Controls
  • Florida educators set scoring criteria
  • Scorers hired by contractor are required to have college degrees in related areas in order to be eligible for training.
  • Scorers receive high-quality training under the supervision of DOE.
  • Scorers must qualify to score by demonstrating accuracy and consistency in matching scores set by educators.

Florida Department of Education

handscoring quality controls36
Handscoring Quality Controls
  • Scoring is monitored by DOE staff (on-site for first training and first weeks of scoring).
  • All responses are scored independently by two scorers. “Discrepant” scores are resolved with a third scoring by scoring supervisor or leader.
  • Scorers falling below threshold are retrained and/or dismissed.

Florida Department of Education

other fcat committees
Other FCAT Committees
  • Assessment and Accountability Advisory Committee
  • Subject Area Content Advisory Committees
  • Interpretive Products Advisory Committee
  • Technical Advisory Committee
  • Computer-Based Assessment Advisory Committee

Florida Department of Education

fcat committees
FCAT Committees
  • Prompt Review Committee
  • Standards-Setting Committees
  • Special Ad Hoc Committees

Committee participation by nomination

Florida Department of Education

fcat committees 2005 2006
FCAT Committees 2005-2006
  • 677 participants
  • 38 weeks of meetings
  • 76 different meetings
  • Science meetings – 133 participants
  • Bias & Sensitivity – 78 participants
  • Advisory Groups – 9

Florida Department of Education

fcat parent network
FCAT Parent Network

Florida Department of Education

student scores available on parent network for 2007
Student Scores Available on Parent Network for 2007
  • Mathematics
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Writing+

Florida Department of Education

fcat interpretive products43

FCAT Interpretive Products

More things to look for

fcat handbook a resource for educators
FCAT Handbook— A Resource for Educators
  • Program-level information about the FCAT
  • Audience: EDUCATORS


  • Delivered to districts

October 2005, and posted to DOE website

Florida Department of Education


Lessons Learned


  • Narratives on what students are doing well in for each strand, what students are struggling with, and the implications for classroom instruction

Florida Department of Education


Lessons Learned


  • Graphical presentation of student performance by Strand and by Achievement Levels, with analyses
  • Instructional implications based on input from a committee of Florida educators

Florida Department of Education


Lessons Learned for Science ??

  • Anticipate work to begin on Lessons Learned for FCAT Science next fall
  • Estimated Fall 2008 release
  • Writing+ Lessons Learned to be on same development track as Science
  • Reading and Mathematics – 2007 Release, second volume

Florida Department of Education

Department of Education Web Address - www.fldoe.org
    • FCAT Publications (General Public)
    • FCAT Publications (Educator)
    • FCAT Scores and Reports
    • FCAT Developmental Scores

Florida Department of Education

other fcat resources
Other FCAT Resources
  • FCAT Web Address -http://www.firn.edu/doe/sas/fcat/fcatpub2.htm
    • Test Design Summary
      • provides details about the structure of the test
    • Content Focus Reports
      • For each reporting cluster
      • More specific description of content measured

Florida Department of Education

for the latest information
For the Latest Information

Join the Florida Department of Education Paperless Communication System at:


Florida Department of Education


Contact Information:

Linda Oravetz

FCAT Science

Test Development Center

Florida Department of Education

850-922-2584 ext. 237