Region-Worst Nine Percent Drop in FSA Reading Scores Likely Due to COVID-19

PALM COAST, FL (June 24, 2021) – New data released by the Florida Department of Education shows Flagler County third grade reading scores plummeted by nine percent from 2019 to 2021. The data, found on the Chamber’s Flagler County Scorecard webpage, indicates only 59% of third grade students in Flagler County can read at grade level, compared with 68% of third grade students that could read at grade level in 2019.

Percentage Increase/Decrease in 3rd Grade Reading Scores, By County

“The impact of COVID-19 on our education system is the most likely cause of these low test scores. However, the biggest concern I have is that our scores plummeted by 9 percentage points, which is the 12th largest drop any county experienced in the state. The reason third grade reading scores is important is because it’s the one of the first times students are compared to their peers,” said Greg Blosé, President and CEO of the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce. “

Blose continued, “When you look at how Flagler County’s 3rd grade reading scores performed compared to other counties in our region, we see that St. John’s County’s third grade reading scores didn’t drop at all, Volusia County’s dropped by four percent, and Putnam County dropped by just two percent. Flagler’s nine percent reduction is the largest of any county in Northeast, East-Central and Central Florida. The Chamber wants our school system to perform at high levels and to be competitive with other school districts in our region, which is why we are tracking this data. Finally, we know Flagler County Schools has developed a summer reading program for those students who were unable to earn a sufficient score on reading assessments this school year, which is a step in the right direction.”

Despite the reduced number, Flagler’s score of 59% is still higher than Volusia County, which earned a 54%, and Putnam County, which earned a 39%. St. John’s County boasted the best number in the state with 78% of third grade students passing their English-Language Arts FSA. The statewide average is just 54%.

Percentage of Students Reading at Grade Level in 3rd Grade at Flagler County Schools

Please see the following page for graphic representations of the data. Please credit the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce is graphics are used.

For more information, contact Greg Blosé, President and CEO of the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber, at 386-846-1864 or via email at

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