The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 9, 2011

School shows growth on tests

VEEDERSBURG, Ind. — Southeast Fountain school board members received presentations Thursday on assessment testing results from both the elementary and high schools.

Complete spring test score data for the corporation can be viewed at the Indiana Department of Education website.

Principal Tony Coleman said there was overall growth in all areas at the high school. Math scores saw the greatest gains. He said the high school just needs greater growth to meet the state’s standards and the school’s own goals.

One concern noted at both the high school and elementary was the scoring discrepancy between boys and girls. A higher percentage of girls passed in every test compared to boys. For example, 78 percent of the girls being tested passed the Algebra I ECA, whereas only 64 percent of boys passed the same test.

Elementary school principal Diana Spence explained boys need to be taught differently than girls. They need to be kept interested. The elementary is even considering teaching separate classes to boys and girls in math and language arts.

Coleman said high school students are going to be held accountable this year for their test scores. Remediation has begun and there are now two math labs. The high school will look at ways to improve language arts skills with boys and free and reduced lunch students.

“The bottom line is we are going to teach better and the teachers are already stepping up,” Coleman said.

Elementary ISTEP scores were up across the board. Last year’s sixth-grade class grew considerably in math, with 94 percent passing the math portion of the ISTEP. As fifth-graders, 62 percent of the same class passed the math portion, so the class had a 32 percent growth from one year to the next.

The elementary school moved from a school on academic watch last year to a grade A school, according to the PL 221 categories.

Spence added that restructuring the school day at the elementary with 90 minutes devoted to reading and 90 minutes devoted to math really helped, as well as devoted teachers and students responding to RTI efforts.

In other business, school board members:

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