March 12, 2014Local school boards have been reviewing NECAP results for their schools over the past couple of weeks. The general trend seems to be improvement, but there are some exceptions and most scores are still below state averages.
The exception is the Milan Village School. Three grades were tested there last fall and without exception all three tested higher than the state average.
One hundred percent of the third grades are proficient or better in reading. In math, 77 percent tested proficient or better. The state averages are 77 and 70 respectively.
For the fourth grade, 88 percent in reading and 82 percent in math tested at the proficient or higher level. The state averages are 75 and 73 percent respectively.
In the sixth grade the scores are 83 percent and 78 percent respectively, compared state scores of 77 and 70.
The percentages of student in Berlin at the proficiency or better level were generally higher this year, with a couple of exceptions, reading and math scores for the fourth and sixth grade and math in the seventh. The percentages for the fourth grade, however, were the same as these same students had achieved the previous year when they were in the third grade, 58 percent proficient in reading and 35 percent proficient in math. It's the same situation for this year's sixth grade, which also had lower percentages of proficiency than other grades when tested last year when they were in the fifth grade.
The rest of the scores showed improvement over last year's. Students being tested in the 11th grade have shown steady progress over the past four years. The percentage of students proficient in writing score had moved from 38 to 39 to 44 to 50 percent this year. Reading also improved, from 55 in 2010-11 to 69 percent this year. Except for a one year decrease, math scores for that grade have also risen, from 26 four years ago to 31 percent this year.
All of the 11th grade proficiency percentages are still below state averages, at 77 for reading, 36 for math and 54 for writing.
This was the case for all of the grades. Improvement is being made, but the percentage of students at proficiency is still not at the state average.
NECAP results are a mixed bag in Gorham as well. The percentage of students at proficiency dropped in four grades: third, fourth, seventh and eleventh, in both reading and math, and in writing as well for the eleventh grade.
Again, the scores show a trend. For example, last year's seventh grade had 81 percent at the proficiency or better in reading and 92 at proficiency or better in math. In eighth grade this year, these same students had 77 percent and 90 percent respectively at proficiency or better.
Students in the fourth grade last year were at 79 percent proficiency or better in both reading and math. This year these same students, now in fifth grade, were at 83 percent proficiency for both.
Some grades did beat the state averages in percentage at proficient or better, including: fifth grade in reading and math; sixth grade in math; eighth grade in math and writing and eleventh grade in reading and writing.
Superintendent Paul Bousquet said he was mainly concerned about the math results. He pointed out that things are different from how it used to be, when student either sank or swam.
"We take kids where they are and try to move them forward," he said. "We help them swim as far as they can swim."
He said the staff would look for trends. Are scores weak in any particular area. He noted with small classes, sometimes just two or three students can have a big impact on scores.
He said the staff will try and identify those students and get them help in the areas they need it.
This is the last year the schools will take the NECAP tests. Next year it will be the Smarter Balance tests associated with the Common Core curriculum.