In a crucial state Algebra 1 exam, 49 percent of students passed in 2022, up from 47 percent from the year before, according to Florida Department of Education data.
The results were from 258,691 students who took the 2022 exam.
That said, the scores indicate that many students struggled to pass the major math exam that is typically required to receive a standard high school diploma. In the last few years, the passing rate for the exam was as high as 61 percent. Those figures went down during the COVID-19 pandemic. And there was no data for 2020.
Florida students tend to take the exam at some point in middle school or high school, state data shows, and Algebra 1 is also considered a bridge to higher-level math.
Keep in mind that the education department uses a 1 to 5 score on the exam, and students must pass with at least a score of 3.
But level 3 indicates “Satisfactory—may need additional support for the next grade/course.”
The higher scores, 4 and 5, are considered proficient, and in 2022, only 22 percent of students were able to reach that level.
Algebra 1 courses approach topics regarding performing operations with polynomials and radicals, understanding various functions, solving quadratic equations with the quadratic formula, among other skills.
In 2022, the district with the highest passing rate was St. Johns, in Northeast Florida on the Atlantic Coast, followed by Walton County, at 68 percent, and Nassau and Sarasota, at 65 percent passing.
In all cases, those passing rates are for scores of 3, 4 and 5 collectively. But many students may need additional help, particularly if they did not score at the 4 or 5 level, meaning at proficiency.
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