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Math, English test results are on the rise

TRI-COUNTY AREA—Test results for students at Penn Yan, Dundee, Hammondsport, Watkins Glen, and Odessa-Montour schools have improved in both math and English, according to state test results released June 1.
The Grade 3 to 8 tests are given each year by the state, and started in 2006. In a statement, state education Commissioner Richard Mills explained that each year the tests are created to be just as tough as the previous years since it was started. There are four levels students’ results fall into: serious academic problem, partially meets standards, meets standards, and exceeds learning standards.  The improved test scores for the area school had an increase in students meeting standards or exceeding them.
In Penn Yan, math results for the middle school had some of the better improvements. More of this year’s seventh graders met the state standards compared to last year,; 55.2 to 70.6 percent. In that same grade, fewer partially met the standards, 11.2 to 4.9 percent, but also fewer exceeded the standards, 31.5 to 23.8 percent. This year’s eighth graders did the same in math. Last year 65.2 percent met the standards and this year 80.2 did.
Students at the elementary school had better ELA improvements than in the middle school, which were similar to last year’s. This year’s fifth graders went from 65.9 percent to 78.3 percent meeting the state’s standards, and 2.3 to 8.5 percent exceeding the standards. Those students came from those partially meeting the standards, 25.8 to 13.3 percent.
In Dundee, some of the better math result improvements were in the higher grade levels. This year’s seventh graders had 24.2 percent of students exceed the standards over last year’s 15.8 percent. The number of students meeting the standards went from 78.9 to 71 percent, which is where the most of the improving students came from. The students partially meeting standards went from 5.3 to 4.8 percent, and zero percent of students were an academic problem. It was similar for this year’s sixth graders. The number exceeding the standards went from 7.1 to 17.8 percent. The improved students again came mostly came from those who met the standards last year, 74.3 to 67.1 percent.
For ELA results, this year’s fourth graders went from 58.3 to 80.7 percent meeting the standards and those partially meeting them went from 28.3 to 14 percent.
In Hammondsport, one of the better math improvements was in this year’s fifth graders exceeding the standards, 13 to 44.4 percent. Those students mostly came from those meeting the standards, 78.3 to 53.3 percent. For ELA, this year’s fifth graders also increased those who exceeded the standards, from 8.5 to 26.7 percent. The number of students who met the standards rose slightly from 59.6 to 62.2 percent.
In Watkins Glen, more fourth graders passed the state tests for ELA. Last year 48.9 percent of students met state standards. This year that number increased to 58.1 percent. The number of those students to exceed the standards increased from 6.8 percent to 8.1 percent. In the same grade level more students improved to the highest level of exceeding standards. This year’s fourth graders went from 2.3 percent to 16.3 percent in the highest level. Fewer students met the standards, 79.5 percent to 64 percent, but about the same number of students were partially meeting them. Another increase in students exceeding standards was this year’s fifth graders in ELA, from only 2.4 percent to 20.2 percent.
Almost all ELA classes saw a decrease in students not meeting standards except in grade eight where that increased by two percent to 27 percent. For the math tests, all grade levels decreased at that level. There were only some one to two percent increases in serious academic problems, but the highest percent there was 4.7.
At Odessa-Montour, the results were similar. One example of students exceeding state standards was in this year’s fifth graders in math, from 7.4 percent last year to 31.5 percent this year. Those students came from both those partially meeting, 13 to 7.4 percent, and meeting, 77.8 to 59.3 percent, the standards. The rest of the students at Hanlon Elementary School generally had fewer students partially meeting the standards. One increase in that area was this year’s fourth graders for ELA, 21.3 to 29.4 percent. The decrease came from students exceeding standards, 14.9 to 5.9 percent, and those who had problems, 2.1 to zero percent.
At the middle school, math results had the bigger improvements. This year’s seventh graders had 26.3 percent of student partially meeting standards last year and 8.8 percent this year. Seven percent of students exceeded them last year and now 14 percent do. The number of students meeting standards went from 64.9 percent to 77.2 percent. This year’s eighth graders had similar results, but with the most of the improving students meeting standards instead of exceeding them.
Howard Dennis, associate superintendent for Penn Yan Central School District, said the last three years Penn Yan has put a major focus on literature. He said the school looked at how the reading and writing was taught and if it is the best way to be done. The schools are also looking at how individual students are doing and what their weaknesses are. Watkins Glen Superintendent Tom Phillips said his district is doing the same thing and also focusing on common skills used in many classes.
Now that Penn Yan has the results for math and ELA, Dennis said the district will look at where students did not do well and where in the curriculum that skill is addressed.
Kyle Bower, Hammondsport superintendent, said despite the results, work still needs to be done with ELA.

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