11/02/06 — Math test scores in for 2005

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Math test scores in for 2005

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 2, 2006 1:45 PM

Preliminary results are in for end-of-grade tests, but expect them to look different next week after the state Board of Education reviews them, local officials say.

Dr. Craig McFadden, assistant superintendent for accountability and student services, said the results were ready for release Wednesday, but a memo from the state board president called for them to be delayed until Nov. 9.

Board President Howard Lee requested the delay to allow for review time "to ensure that all schools are being appropriately and fairly evaluated." By day's end, however, results were released and labeled "preliminary and unofficial."

School Performance
Brogden Middle 61.6
Brogden Primary 56.5
Carver Elementary 59.4
Carver Heights Elementary 55
Aycock High 74.1
Dillard Middle 44.6
Eastern Wayne Elementary 72.9
Eastern Wayne High 77.2
Eastern Wayne Middle 69
Fremont Elementary 72.2
Goldsboro High 52.9
Grantham School 67.2
Goldsboro Middle 51.3
Greenwood Middle 72.8
Meadow Lane Elementary 77
Mount Olive Middle 58.8
Norwayne Middle 75.7
Rosewood Elementary 73.9
Rosewood High 73.1
Rosewood Middle 71.3
School Street Elementary 61.7
Southern Wayne High 69.3
Spring Creek Elementary 74.8
Spring Creek High 69
North Drive Elementary 51.5
Northeast Elementary 77.5
Northwest Elementary 81.2
Belfast Academy 31.3
Southern Academy 23.7

In Wayne County Public Schools, 18 schools made "expected growth" and two made "high growth," which means that 60 percent or more of the students met expected growth. But McFadden said there is still some concern surrounding the testing and growth formulas.

"It is not valid to compare this year's ABC's performance composites to scores from past years," he said. "If you were to remove the three new tests from the results and used only the scores from the tests taken the previous year, you'd find the performance composites to be very different.

"For instance, Eastern Wayne's performance composite would be 85.5, Goldsboro High's performance composite would be 59.4 and Rosewood High's performance composite would be 83.6."

The same holds true for K-8 scores, McFadden said. The state implemented new math tests this year as well as new growth formulas and more stringent achievement standards. In some respects, it is as if the ABCs model is a completely new one.

"They just overhauled this program that has been in place since 1996-97," he said.

One of the biggest changes, he said, came two weeks ago when the state board decided to raise the standard that determines what it means to be "at grade level," and on tests that have already been taken.

Previously, teachers indicated whether the child performed at or below grade level, he said. That data would be collected from teachers all over the state and used as the measure.

This year, though, McFadden said the state board stepped in and changed the criteria.

"The state board decided the teachers weren't being stringent enough, decided to raise the standards," he said. "That dramatically impacted the ABC and the No Child Left Behind results."

As a result, the findings are almost a throwback to the original concept of the ABCs, McFadden said.

"Last year (2004-05), we had like three or four schools of excellence, 12 schools of distinction," he said. "The first year of the ABC program we had one school of distinction and zero schools of excellence.

"With the new state board standards, we were back to where we were at the beginning of the ABC program."

It is something the state board will definitely have to deal with, McFadden said.

"On one side, the teachers are telling you what's grade level. On the other side, the people are making it harder to be at grade level," he said.

McFadden said he believed the state board had received feedback from schools that were not at grade level, prompting them to take a closer look at the data.

"I strongly suspect by the 9th of November when they meet again it will change, but how, I don't know," he said.

"It's been an interesting year...We're here in November and we're still talking about last year's test results."

In Wayne County, preliminary results showed four schools making adequate yearly progress under No Child Left Behind: Charles B. Aycock, Rosewood High, School Street Elementary, and Northeast Elementary.