Thursday, August 31, 2006
County schools see rise in test scores, focus on areas of concern
During the 2004-2005 school year, the Marshall County School District (MCSD) had its highest growth rate per student since the institution of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Although the school district did not match its growth rate from the 2004-2005 school year on the 2005-2006 assessments, the district did post its highest achievement marks per grade per test since the 2001 school year.
The MCSD was given an “Accredited” rating by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) in all areas for the 2005-2006 school year. Six of the seven schools were rated as “Successful” by both the MDE’s Achievement and Growth Models and the United States Department of Education’s (USDE) Accountability Model. Byhalia Elementary and Middle School was rated as a Level 2 school. H.W. Byers Elementary School moved from a Level 2 to a Level 3 (Successful) school and exceeded their growth rate.
“The rise in test scores over the last few years in our schools is due to the fact that we are holding administrators, teachers and staff accountable.” said Don Randolph, superintendent of education.
“We have made it our mission not to accept mediocrity. Our staff is to be commended for all their hard work and for helping us take another giant step in the right direction.”
Eighty-five percent of the students in the MCSD scored at average when compared to the state testing data, and the other 15 percent of students within the district either exceeded or fell below the state average.
Of particular concern were the second and third grade reading proficiency levels at H.W. Byers Elementary, the third grade reading proficiency level at Byhalia Elementary/Middle School and the fourth grade math proficiency level at Galena School.
“The problem for those schools in those particular areas was not that their test scores were low, but that they had too high of a percentage of students scoring in the minimal category,” said Jerry Moore, district testing coordinator for the MCSD, “which placed them at the bottom of the list when making statewide comparisons.
“Proficiency levels were good for 109 of the 113 variables by which we were graded this year, which is a testament to the planning and instruction that took place, but we will have to point a strong emphasis toward those four areas in which we performed so poorly.”
Two of the highlights concerning proficiency levels for the district was that Galena School’s second grade had the sixth smallest percentage of students scoring in the minimal category in the state on the second grade math assessment, and Potts Camp School’s sixth grade had the seventh smallest percentage of students scoring in the minimal category in the state on the sixth grade math assessment.
All schools in the district met the required 93 percent attendance rate as set by No Child Left Behind, and all high schools met the required graduation rate.
School report cards compiled by the district for parents containing detailed information about each school’s accountability results will be sent home with each student during the last week of August, and district accountability results will be posted at each school site during that same week.
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