TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- An emergency rule adopted Tuesday will lower the passing grade for Florida's standardized writing test to keep the failure rate about the same as last year after preliminary results showed it would have dramatically increased otherwise.
The State Board of Education unanimously passed the rule. Without it, only about a third of students would have passed the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, compared to 80 percent or better last year.
The passing grade will drop from four to three on a zero-to-six scale. The writing test is given in the fourth, eighth and 10th grades.