St. Charles test scores show growing success rate

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / June 17, 2000

LULING – Reviewing test scores in St. Charles Parish public schools reflects agrowing rate of success and hope for better news in coming years, as students become more accustomed to such test-taking at various grade levels.

The Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, administered to grades 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7, and the Iowa Tests of Educational Development, administered to grade 9 students, are used by teachers to adjust their lesson plans and plot the progress of students through the years – a practice which will only become more refined over time.

In grade 2, where the Iowa Test is not required, the students were tested on vocabulary, reading comprehension, listening, language, math concepts, math problems, social studies, science and using information sources.

Scores generally improved across the board from the class of 1999 to the class of 2000 wherever the tests were given, often by 3-5 points on each test at each school.

Third-graders were similarly tested on vocabulary, reading comprehension, spelling, capitalization, punctuation, usage and expression, math concepts, math problems, social studies, science, maps and diagrams, reference materials and information sources.

Districtwide, composite scores stayed at 61 percentile, meaning that 39 percent of third-graders across the country scored better. However,improvements were noted at several individual schools.

“If we see a 3 percent gain over a number of years, that’s significant growth,” commented Rachel Allemand, testing coordinator.

The scores, broken down by schools, also indicate to planners how best to channel funding and resources toward improving those scores.

In fifth grade, students improved from 1999 to 2000, and a cross-check between testing of 1999’s fifth-graders to 2000’s sixth-graders indicate a peaking at 55 percentile. Analysis of the scores will show where to directfuture efforts.

Similarly, reviewing scores for seventh-graders, who also took the Iowa tests during fifth and sixth grades, show a steady improvement, with 1998 scores generally in the low 50 percentiles and 2000 scores generally in the low 60 percentiles.

Iowa Tests of Educational Development, given to ninth-graders, likewise show across-the-board improvements in succeeding classes. 1998’s districtwidecomposite score was 52 percentile. 1999’s composite was 55 percentile,while 2000’s composite score was 59 percentile.

“It’s great for teachers to see the results now to start formulating plans for next year,” Allemand added.

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