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Florida To Enhance Access to Test Scores

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School districts and colleges in Florida this year will have greater access to students' scores on the two national college-entrance examinations, leading state education officials to predict speedier admissions to universities and more complete performance indicators from local schools.

An agreement signed last week makes Florida the first state able to electronically receive results of both the Scholastic Aptitude Test and the Amercian College Testing Program examination.

State officials were quick to point out that the new system does not constitute a new data base of students' scores. Instead, they said, it will allow more efficient use of the results by students' home districts and designated colleges and universities that previously received the results on paper.

The system will not expand state access to scores beyond the breakdown by range that is regularly included in an annual report of school performance indicators, state officials noted.

For students, the network should mean a shorter wait between the time tests are scored and college-admission decisions, state education officials said. They also point out that the system will allow for almost instantaneous reporting of scores by students who want their results to be sent to a school not initially designated on the test form.

For districts, the scores will be a new type of information for their computerized management systems and will allow for a more complete and faster analysis of student performance on the college exams, the officials said.

The testing officials said the system will also be used for students in other states who want their test scores sent to a public universities or community colleges in Florida.

Officials estimated that the system will transmit scores of 70,000 Florida students each year. The network, which is expected to be in full operation within a few weeks, is an extension of Florida's automated system for transmitting school records, initiated last year.--LH

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