Statewide science scores in 5th and 8th grades dropped during the pandemic

Coronavirus school reopening concept. A boy student stands in front of school bus wearing a face mask and backpack with stop sign clearly visible.
Everything from earth and space science to physical science took a hit during the pandemic.

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.


Via Danielle Brown of Florida Phoenix.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: [email protected]. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

Florida Phoenix

Florida Phoenix is a news and opinion outlet focused on government and political news coverage within the state of Florida.

One comment

  • Tom

    August 4, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    Shocking, this even after this great Governors efforts to provide model example in country with keeping session in person learning open. America’s Governor on the side of families and kids. But who opposed. The Florida Teachers Union, the Dem elected establishment and some school teachers. . Shocking they did.
    Even after the Gov/legislature passed teachers pay increase. Thank God for America’s Governor DeSantis.

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