October 9, 2007
Karla Denny, Director, Communications and Recognition Programs, 785-296-4876
Assessment Results Show Students Strong in Reading and Mathematics
TOPEKA—Results released today from the Kansas Statewide Assessments show strong performance in reading, mathematics, and writing for all students. The gaps are decreasing. Tests are given in grades 3 – 8 and once in high school for reading and mathematics. Writing is tested at the 5th, 8th and 11th grade bi-yearly. Opportunity to learn was implemented this year at the high school level. In the past, reporting was done at Grade 10 for mathematics and Grade 11 for reading and writing. This year all test results are reported at the 11th grade, with test results for mathematics being banked until the 11th grade reporting cycle.
The 2007 assessment results reflect scores based on the curriculum standards adopted by the State Board of Education. This is the second year of the implementation of new tests so scores are being compared to the 2006 tests.
Five performance levels have been established for the tests. They are: Exemplary, Exceeds Standard, Meets Standard, Approaches Standard, and Academic Warning. Students are categorized at each performance level based on their scores.
Reading scores were high across all grade levels. For 3rd grade reading, 81.9 percent of students performed in one of the top three levels; 83.6 percent of 4th grade students performed at or above Meets Standard; for 5th and 6th grades 81.1 percent achieved at Meets Standard, Exceeds Standard, or Exemplary; 83.2 percent of Kansas 7th graders were in the top three categories; 79.0 percent of 8th graders scored at Meets Standard or higher; and 77.0 percent of high school students were at or above Meets Standard.
When compared with 2006 results, the reading scores reported above reflect an increase in achievement for all grade levels except high school which remained at 77 percent.
”Kansas students have always performed well in reading. These results show that Kansas students continue to meet and exceed high academic achievement standards,” said Kansas Education Commissioner Dr. Alexa Posny.
The percentage of disadvantaged students scoring at Meets Standard or above increased from 67.7 percent in 2006 to 70.6 percent in 2007. Students with disabilities also increased performance from 57.4 percent at Meets Standard or above to 58.8 percent in 2007. English Language Learners performed at 54.6 percent at Meets Standard or above in 2007. This compares with 49.8 percent in 2006. Hispanic students stayed at 61.5 percent at Meets Standard or above when compared to 2006 results and African American students at Meets Standard or above showed a decrease of 2.4 percent when compared with 2006 data.
Mathematics scores across grade levels showed significant growth when compared to the 2006 results. 84.3 percent of third grade students performed at Meets Standard or above on the 2007 assessment test. This compares with 80.9 percent last year. At the 4th grade level, 84.7 percent were in one of the top three categories. 80.7 percent of fourth grades achieved this result in 2006. At the 5th grade level, 83.3 percent of students were in one of the top three categories. Last year, the percent was 78.8. For 6th grade students, 79.1 percent were at Meets Standard or above, with 74.3 percent scoring at this level last year. Seventh grade students had 74.9 percent at Meets Standard or above on the 2007 assessment. This compares with 70.3 percent last year. On the 8th grade assessment test, 70.8 percent of the students scored at Meets Standard or above. Last year in the 8th grade, 66.6 percent were in the top three categories. High school students showed the most improvement with 71.2 percent performing at Meets Standard or above. Last year 58.3 percent of 10th graders performed this well.
All subgroups in mathematics recorded gains in achievement. Disadvantaged students rose from 62.6 percent at Meets Standard or above to 69.7 percent. Students with disabilities went from 52.7 percent to 56.4 percent in 2007. English Language Learners performed on the 2006 assessment at 55.7 percent at Meets Standard or above. This compares with 62.9 percent in 2007. African American students had 51.5 percent at Meets Standard or above in 2006 and 54.6 percent in on of the top three categories in 2007. Hispanic student scores rose from 59.3 percent at Meets Standard or above in 2006 to 64.7 percent in 2007.
According to Dr. Posny, “Kansas students should be especially proud of their tremendous gains in mathematics achievement. Increasingly higher targets each year in mathematics have been met by our students.”
Writing is assessed every other year in Kansas at grades 5, 8, and 11. Sixty-eight percent of Kansas 5th graders performed at Meets Standard or above. In 8th grade, 75.0 percent of students tested performed at Meets Standard or above, and 75.4 percent of high school students tested in one of the top three categories. The writing results reflect that students are being afforded greater opportunities for writing and overall show a solid performance.
When analyzing the writing trend data at the 8th grade level, an increase across all subgroups is reflected and gaps among students seem to be slowly closing.
For schools making Standard of Excellence, we saw more increase in mathematics than reading. There were two changes in the formula. To achieve a 2007 Standard of Excellence, the “all group” classification had to make AYP. Also, if a school only tested one grade level, the school could achieve a Building-wide Standard of Excellence. However, it could not also receive the grade level Standard of Excellence. This is a change from 2006. The Standard of Excellence looks at all students and is not a part of NCLB.
For mathematics, three hundred eighty-nine third grades received a Standard of Excellence. In 4th grade, 375 Standard of Excellence certificates were awarded. Two hundred ninety Standard of Excellence certificates were awarded to 5th grade classes. In 6th grade, 221 certificates were awarded. For 7th grade, 135 Standard of Excellence certificates were earned. One hundred twenty-five 8th grade classes received a Standard of Excellence, and thirty-six certificates were awarded to high school mathematics. The Building-wide Standard of Excellence was awarded to 598 schools for a total of 2,169 certificates being award in mathematics for 2007.
In reading, 791 Building-wide Standard of Excellence certificates were awarded in 2007. Grade 3 certificates were awarded to 329 classes. Three hundred forty-three 4th grade classes received Standard of Excellence certificates. For 5th grade students, 376 certificates were awarded. Two hundred thirty-seven 6th grade classes received the Standard of Excellence in reading; for 7th grade, 281 classes received the Standard of Excellence. Two hundred fifty-four 8th grade classes were awarded the Standard of Excellence, and 54 high school classes received the award, for a total of 2,665 certificates being awarded.
In writing a total of 310 schools received Building-wide Standard of Excellence certificates. Additionally, 34 certificates were issued to Grade 5 classes, 62 certificates were issued to Grade 8 classes, and 39 certificates went to Grade 11 classes, for a total of 445 certificates being issued in writing.
For a comprehensive list of schools receiving the Standard of Excellence in reading, mathematics, and/or writing, go to www.ksde.org and look under “Hot Topics” on the right hand side of the screen.
The 2007 State Report Card can be accessed at www.ksde.org under “Data/Report Card.” State, district and individual school data can be viewed after 1:30 p.m. today.
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