Statewide science exams covering everything from earth and space science to physical science took a hit during the pandemic, with average passing rates lower than 50% for fifth and eighth graders.
In fifth grade, 47% of students passed the state science exam in 2021, compared to 53% in 2019. (Florida didn’t administer the science exams in 2020 because of the pandemic.)
In eighth grade, 45% of students passed, compared to 48% in 2019.
Unlike math and reading exams across grade schools, science exams are only administered in fifth and eighth grades. A high-school-level biology exam also is administered.
The Florida Department of Education measures achievement on the science exams on a 1 to 5 scale, with passing scores of 3, 4 or 5. However, a 3 is not considered proficient.
Only 4 and 5 scores in science are proficient or higher. A score of 3 means “satisfactory,” and a student “may need additional support for the next grade/course.”
The eighth grade passing rate of 45% in 2021 is the lowest since 2012, according to the Florida Department of Education.
Likewise, the fifth grade passing rate of 47% is the lowest since 2012.
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