District shows improvement in reading, math, slips in writing

Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010

Early numbers from district's 2009-10 standards based assessment test scores show Kenai Peninsula students have improved their proficiency levels in reading and math, but have slipped some in writing.

According to data provided by Sean Dusek, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District assistant superintendent, student test scores are still well above state averages.

In reading, Dusek reported 90 percent of students at or above proficiency, about a 1.3 percent improvement from last year.

Close to 80 percent of students tested at or above proficiency in math, about a 2.5 percent increase over last year.

In writing, however, the level of students at or above proficiency slipped about 2 percent from last year to 83 percent.

"There's always an area for consideration," Dusek said on Thursday. "Our writing scores kind of mirror what's happening around the state."

At the state level proficiency in reading, math and writing was 81.9 percent, 71.1 percent and 74.1 percent, respectively.

While both reading and math saw gains, writing slid by about 2 percent.

The assessments are completed by third- through 10th-graders over a three-day period in early April.

The federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or No Child Left Behind, requires states to assess students in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. The state chooses to assess in grades 3 through 10 and to assess writing, as well.

Scores will be used later this year to determine whether schools are making Adequate Yearly Progress.

For the 2008-09 school year, the district made AYP in all but one of the 30 sub-groups that are tested.

Dante Petri can be reached at dante.petri@peninsulaclarion.com.

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