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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

NECAP test results Suck, Statewide!

From the Eagle Tribune;

NECAP test results show room for improvement Sanborn High results far below state average
By Jarret Bencks
jbencks@eagletribune.com

The latest statewide testing scores show math results declining dramatically between grades eight and 11, but improving over last year's scores.

Sanborn Regional High School students scored significantly lower than the state average, with just 22 percent scoring proficient or better, and 50 percent scoring substantially below proficient. The district saw a drop of nearly 50 percent in proficiency from middle school to high school.

In Londonderry, 44 percent of 11th-graders tested proficient or better in math, up from 34 percent last year.

New England Common Assessment Program test results were released yesterday. Last fall, students in grades three through eight and 11 were tested in reading, writing and mathematics.

The most significant disparity in testing comes between grades eight and 11, where the percentage of students scoring proficient or better in math drops from 65 percent to 32 percent.

"The goal is to have our students scoring proficient or better," said Timothy Kurtz, administrator of curriculum and assessment for the state Department of Education. "We're seeing improvement, but we are not near where we want to be — 38 percent (substantially below proficient) is not acceptable."

Scoring "proficient" or "proficient with distinction" means a student demonstrates a conceptual understanding of most aspects of grade-level expectations, according to the Department of Education. "Partially proficient" or "substantially below proficient" indicates more instruction and support are needed.

Last year, 45 percent of 11th-graders scored substantially below proficient in math, while 28 percent scored proficient or better. NECAP has only been taken by 11th-graders for the last two years.

"We are pleased with the fact we had a 10 percent jump since 2007," said Mark Blount, Londonderry's assistant superintendent. "But we'd still like to see much higher than that."

The district recently changed textbooks in some of its high school math classes, and added pre-calculus and calculus courses to improve its math curriculum, Blount said.

In Salem, 69 percent of eighth-graders tested proficient or better in math, up from 58 percent last year. Thirty-one percent of 11th-graders scored at that level, an improvement over the 26 percent last year.

The Salem School District plans to bridge the gap between middle school and high school by having eighth-grade teachers sit in on high school classes, said Edith Soley, district assistant superintendent.

"It's a problem," Soley said. "We need to do better with those scores."

Scoring proficient or better on the grade 11 assessment means students would need little to no remedial learning for math when entering college, Kurtz said.

"The bottom line is performance simply isn't good enough to the kids and the places they are going," he said.

NECAP tests were formulated as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act, and were first given in 2006. Students from Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire take the tests. Maine schools will begin administering the tests next year.

Improving the grades would be a long-term project for districts around the state, Kurtz said.

"Until the numbers are around 85 percent (proficient), there is work to be done, but the numbers are going in the right direction," Kurtz said. "We'd like to see this kind of a trend continue over the next few years."

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please vote "NO" on all Timberlane warrant articles. Administration should be force to spend more time on academics and less time finding ways to waste tax payers dollars. Remember, VOTE "NO".

Anonymous said...

NO MORE watching Legally Blonde 2 to teach Government

No MORe watching Fun with Dick and Jane to teach Economics!

Anonymous said...

TRHS is set to implement unleveled "heterogeneous" 9th grade science as a precursor to a fully unleveled 9th grade in years to come.

With this, the higher performing students will be held back and ultimately do worse on standardized tests because they lost the opportunity to learn at a greater depth like today's ACC classes provide.

Vote NO to all the warrant articles, including the budget, that's the only way to show the administration that we are not pleased with these idiotic changes!

Anonymous said...

I vote NO in every election and I lose in a landslide. I guess people have unlimited financial resources.

Anonymous said...

"No" isn't necessarily an educational strategy...

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately its all taxpayers and parents have.

I look at it like training a puppy. Onc eor twice one needs to rub their noses in it to show them that something is inappropriate...

Anonymous said...

Or, you could get involved, read up on education issues from different sources to get to a point where you knew what you talking about, and make a real difference.

But, whining from the sidelines is so much easier and more fun. I've read here about playing "Legally Blonde" 20 times but not once has some mentioned that teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money, or spend their own time working on special projects or trips for their students, or that they're expected to be parents and social workers because many parents don't know how to teach personal responsibility to their children.

You want to raise reading scores? Throw out the damn Playstation and Xbox make your child read a book! You want better math scores? Make sure your kids do their homework!

MAcciard said...

Every time someone criticizes public schools we get the old bromide trotted out about how some teachers spend their own time and money to teach kids.

Yes some do. But the schools as a whole are failing miserably! And grabbing on to every new educational fad to come around the block does not help to educate our children.

We pay $13,000 to Timberlane school district to educate our children and they fail! And it is largely not because of the teachers, but because of the administration's lack of will.

How is it that Timberlane can do so poorly and other districts, around us can do so much better?

How is it that St. joes, or Central Catholic, or Pinkerton, can beat us academically, on FAR less money per student?

When you can answer that question without platitudes, you will be much closer to solving the problem.

Anonymous said...

People have become involved with the schools and have gotten no where. Administration knows because they have the experience and have done the research. So has many parents and when you question administration, it because the parents are not doing the right research. Yea, right.

Londonderry High School won the 2008 N.H. Excellence in Education Award. According to NECAP article, their scores are on the rise. Parents suggested checking into Londonderry but NO, administration spends time on HS that have the programs they wish to implement.

Londonderry does not use block scheduling for all their classes. Timberlane is beginning implementation this fall starting with freshman science. BTW, Sanborn has block scheduling. Did you see their scores?

Londonderry does not have hetergeneous classes in Math and Sciences. In fact, they have at least 3 DIFFERENT LEVELS in those classes. Timberlane will begin to have hetergeneous (everyone lumped together) classes in the fall beginning with freshman science.

Timberlane wants a new middle school and/or high school because a brand new bldg will make the difference. Sanborn has a beautiful brand new HS, did you see their scores?

As a community we need to stand together and get Timberlane administration to stay focused on improving academics. Planning to build will have administration spending too much time away from what's needed now. Send a message and vote "NO" to all warrant articles.

Anonymous said...

keep giving them calculaters, all they have to do is push buttons instead of useing ther brain

Anonymous said...

Or better yet, train them now on how to use a spatula!

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced that the NECAP is a successful indicator of where students are at. If you ask the students, some will tell you that there is a percentage of students who do not take the test seriously, they just fill in any answer because there is no direct correlation to their grade. I'm wondering when the students became so apathetic? Part of this starts at the home. If we're going to spend time and money on a test, lets make it mean something.