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Standardized Testing

The achievement and progress of students in Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) are measured each year with the help of district, state and national standardized tests. Some of the major tests are listed below.

The Florida Standards Assessments (FSA) replaced the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) 2.0 Assessments for Reading and Mathematics in 2014-2015. The assessments measure each student’s progress and achievement on the Florida Standards.

The following FSA assessments will be administered:

  • English Language Arts (ELA) in grades 3-10 to include Reading, Language, and Listening; a Writing component also is included in grades 4-11
  • Mathematics in grades 3-8
  • Algebra 1 EOC
  • Geometry EOC

The new tests provide a more authentic assessment of the Florida Standards, because they include more than multiple-choice questions. Students are asked to create graphs, interact with test content and write and respond in different ways than on traditional tests.  New question types assess students’ higher-order thinking skills in keeping with the higher expectations of the FSA.

Additionally, the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) will continue to be assessed by the FCAT 2.0 Science in Grades 5 and 8; FCAT 2.0 Reading Retake; Biology 1 EOC; Civics EOC; and US History EOC.

The FSA and NGSSS EOC assessment scores in Algebra 1, Biology 1, Civics, Geometry, and U.S. History are calculated as 30 percent of the student’s final course grade. These assessments are administered to students enrolled in the EOC eligible courses regardless of grade level.

Graduation test requirements vary, based on when a student entered grade 9 (the student’s cohort).  Detailed information on graduation requirements, by cohort, may be found on the Florida Department of Education’s website (http://www.fldoe.org/academics/graduation-requirements).

Students must earn passing scores on the FSA ELA and Algebra 1 EOC assessments to meet the requirements for a high school diploma.  For students who do not pass a test the first time they take it, multiple opportunities are provided to re-take the test.  In addition, students may apply a passing concordant score on the ACT or SAT to meet the high school graduation test requirements in the FSA ELA and Algebra 1 EOC. 

The Stanford Achievement Test 10th Edition (SAT-10) is a nationally normed test used to compare local students' performance with that of students in the nation. In the spring, the SAT-10 will be administered to students in kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 to assess reading and mathematics skills.

The state's Access for ELLs 2.0 is a four-skill English-language proficiency assessment that will be administered in January/March to all students in grades K-12 classified as English Language Learners (ELL). Access for ELLs measures students' ability to listen, read, write and speak English, and the results provide information about students' strengths and weaknesses in English and their overall progress over time.

The Grade 3 Reading Student Portfolio measures students' proficiency in selected state standards in reading. The portfolio will be administered to students in grade 3 throughout the second semester of the school year.

The District monitors students’ progress toward mastering Florida’s challenging curriculum. Interim Assessment tests will be given to students in grades 9 and 10 in ELA and in all EOC eligible courses (Algebra 1, Biology 1, Civics, Geometry, and US History).  The results will be used by teachers to identify students' strengths and weaknesses to target instruction.

The iReady instructional program is supplemented by diagnostic assessments, which track students’ progress in acquiring critical skills in reading and mathematics in grades K-8.  The diagnostic assessments are administered in the fall, winter and spring.
All kindergarten students are assessed for school readiness during the first 30 days of school as part of the state's Florida Kindergarten Readiness Screener (FLKRS). FLKRS measures early literacy skills that are needed for success in kindergarten.

Students also have the option of participating in the following programs offered by The College Board and ACT, Inc.:

  • The PSAT will be administered to all students in grade 10 and to interested students in 9th and 11th grade in October. The PSAT provides practice for the SAT and is also the qualifying exam for the National Merit Scholarship program. In an attempt to build college readiness and to support more rigorous course selection among Florida's high school students, the state of Florida has formed a partnership with The College Board to pay test fees for all 10th-grade students to participate in the PSAT.
  • The SAT and the ACT are optional college-entrance tests that students may take at scheduled times throughout the school year. Students taking the SAT or ACT can request that their scores be sent to the colleges or universities of their choice.

Test results are made available in a timely fashion to students and their families. Results of district and state testing programs are sent home with students by the respective schools and posted on the District’s Parent Portal. Parents needing assistance in interpreting these scores should contact their children's teachers or guidance counselors.

For more information about these and other tests, check the testing calendar on the district's website at www.dadeschools.net. Additional information about each testing program is available at http://oada.dadeschools.net.