State school assessment scores show some declines for Ignacio students

Sixth-, ninth-graders improve in math

Ignacio School District showed a dip in overall performance in language arts and math on standardized test results, but some individual grades made strides in math. Enlarge photo

Associated Press file

Ignacio School District showed a dip in overall performance in language arts and math on standardized test results, but some individual grades made strides in math.

Ignacio School District’s standardized test results show an overall decline in performance in language arts and mathematics compared with last year.

In general, students tested below-average on the PSATs, SATs and CMAS exams.

Kathy Pokorney, director of curriculum and assessment, said the numbers are not as alarming when looking at the accomplishments of individual grades.

“Last year’s performance was phenomenal for us, but we have a slight decline this year in our median growth percentiles,” Pokorney said. “But more than 50 percent of our students in all areas are making typical growth or higher. When we break it into subgroups, we see more stability.”

Overall, students who took the CMAS language arts exam tested in the 38th percentile, 12 percentage points less than the previous year. In mathematics, students tested in the 41st percentile, a 7 percentage point decline.

“We have a decline, there is no question about that,” Pokorney said. “Sixth-grade math is a highlight for us.”

Sixth-graders scored in the 55.5 percentile in mathematics, a half a percentage point improvement from 2016, and 5.5 percentage points better than the statewide average growth percentile.

At the high school level, ninth-graders tested in the 40.5 percentile in mathematics, 3.5 percentage points better than last year. There was a slight dip in their performance in language arts, with a growth percentile of 47.5, a 1.5 percentage point decline.

“We have areas of decline, but we already have several ideas about why that is,” Pokorney said. “We feel that our high school math growth was good, and we feel like we are more stable than not.”

Pokorney acknowledged a significant decline in overall fourth-grade performance, but she partially attributed it to staffing issues and student attendance.

“We had some serious staff emergencies in the fourth grade and had to change teachers. We also had a large population of kids with high attendance issues,” she said. “This has evened itself out, and fourth grade is back on track for the new school year. These are not excuses, but it is something to look at.”

Fourth-grade students tested in the 20th percentile in language arts, a 21 percentage point decline from last year. In mathematics, students scored in the 17.5 percentile, a 28.5 percentage point decline.

Tenth-grade students took PSATs, and 11th-grade students took the SAT college entrance exam, which is now a state requirement.

Students who took the PSATs scored an average of 411.3 on reading and writing, and 406.7 in mathematics. The statewide average on the PSATs was 478 in reading and writing, and 469 in mathematics.

Pokorney said the district was happy with student performance on the SAT college entrance exam, considering it was the first year administered as a requirement.

Eleventh-graders who took the SAT scored an average of 454.9 on reading and writing, and 437.5 in mathematics. The statewide average for SAT scores was 513 on reading and writing, and 501 in mathematics.

“We have 42 percent of our 11th-graders at the college readiness level in reading and writing, and 19 percent of our 11th-graders scored at the college readiness level in math,” she said.

Pokorney said the district will further analyze the standardized test scores over the next few weeks to develop a future action plan.

“We are really identifying where kids are and where the gaps are so that we can make the appropriate moves in the right direction,” she said.

mrupani@durangoherald.com

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