Thursday, November 27, 2014
   
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District ‘exemplary’ in reading, math

Rating givento local teachers, students.

Gothenburg Public Schools got a pat on the back from the Nebraska Department of Education.

When assessments in four subjects were released Monday by the Nebraska Department of Education, the Swedes received exemplary ratings in reading and math.

In the 2008-09 State of the Schools Report, Gothenburg teachers and administrators were noted for how they assess learning.

Students also received kudos for their test results.

Both groups were rated “exemplary”—the highest mark given.

District ratings show the quality of the district assessment used to measure student learning on standards and tell how well students performed on standards.

Ratings on the NDE’s Web site at www.reportcard.nde.state.ne.us were only given in reading and math although science and writing were also assessed.

Gothenburg students scored well above the state average in all subjects assessed at the fourth, eighth and 11th-grade levels except for last year’s eighth-grade math students.

Those students earned a 79.7% assessment compared to the state average of 91.86%

The score means that nearly 80% of the grade was proficient on the math standards on which the grade was assessed.

District 20 curriculum director Ryan Groene said the results show where teachers and administrators need to focus their efforts.

“That’s an area that will be a big focus in the future,” Groene said. “It’s a definite target for improvement.”

The yearly results posted by the NDE are considered a benchmark for what students in grades four, eight and 11 should know and be able to do.

Those students, in addition to grades three, five, six and seven, were tested last spring.

Groene said more grades were added this year as the state prepares for its first standardized statewide test—in reading—next spring.

For the past several years, students were assessed in different subjects on certain skills.

If they weren’t able to master a concept or skill, teachers could go over the material again before testing students for state assessments.

“It’s a one-shot test this time and teachers can’t retest,” he explained.

Students will be tested on a statewide, standardized test.

Other subjects will follow on a statewide, standardized test starting with a pilot test in math next spring and science the next year.

Gothenburg students took a pilot statewide reading test online last spring.

Groene said the district hasn’t yet decided whether the reading test in the spring of 2010 will be administered online.

While getting ready for a new test on each subject, he said teachers must align their curriculum with a new set of standards.

Groene, who is also the junior high principal, said he doesn’t know whether or not state officials are overloading kids with tests.

Local students already take the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, the ACT plus regular classroom tests throughout the year to name a few, he said.

Those are in addition to statewide testing from March 29 to April 29.

“They’re talking about expanding that window,” Groene said.

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