District 20 test scores above average
Statewide results released for NsEA, STARS assessments.
Gothenburg students can hold their heads high with what they know about math, science and writing on a statewide test.
Local students in the benchmark grades of fourth, eighth and 11th tested higher than the state average in math and science.
Writing was also above average with the exception of eighth graders whose results were a tenth of a percentage point below other student scores in the state.
The results were recently released in the 2009-10 State of the Schools Report by the Nebraska Department of Education.
District 20 curriculum director and junior high principal Ryan Groene said teachers have done a great job of educating students and preparing them for the different assessments.
Groene pointed out that local students have traditionally tested strong in writing.
But that hasn’t always been the case with math.
During 2001-2002—the first year students took the statewide test—fourth graders were 58.96% proficient in math compared to 78.09% of students around the state.
That compares to a 97.26% score this year in math which is 96.66% for the state.
To help bolster scores, Groene said administrators met with math teachers to view test data and look at ways to improve instruction.
“For example, math computation is an area we wanted to improve so we did things to beef it up,” he said.
In science, students in grades 4, 8 and 11 performed well above the state average.
Next spring at Gothenburg Public Schools, all student assessments for the state will be completed online instead of with paper and pencils.
Groene said he’s talked with other curriculum directors across the state who think students are prepared for online testing.
“That’s because of all of their exposure to technology,” he said.
Groene noted that students were tested in math and science using the STARS (School-based, Teacher-led Assessment Reporting System) that’s been used in the past.
However the new NsEA test was administered this past spring in reading and writing.
Reading assessments results were released in September.
Groene said the NsEA writing test changed in name but not in content and is still
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