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ITBS scores hold or improve in Hall schools

POSTED: January 18, 2008 5:04 a.m.

Early results on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills show that Hall County students in second through eighth grades districtwide improved or stayed at the same level in five of six subject areas.

The district showed higher scores on average in math, math computation and language arts, and at the same level in reading and science, according to a document provided Monday by the school system.

Scores dipped slightly in social studies.

Students took the standardized test, which measures performance against students in a national sample, Nov. 5-9.

Scores from Gainesville city schools weren’t available Monday.

Hall’s academic performances on the test particularly were strong in second, third and fifth grades, where average scores stayed the same or increased.

"With our focus on developing mathematics specialists at all elementary grades, the implementation of Calendar Math and our movement toward Singapore Math, these results are some of the most impressive gains I have ever witnessed in a very short period of time," said Superintendent Will Schofield.

Singapore Math uses hands-on and other visual activities to teach math for deeper understanding.

School officials also are pleased that gifted-education students in third grade scored between the 93rd and 97th percentile in all core areas of the exam and in fifth grade, between the 85th and 93rd percentile.

A percentile means the percent of students who scored higher than the national sample.

The district, however, struggled in middle grades, with average scores for eighth-graders dropping in all areas.

Scores dropped in four of six subjects for sixth-graders and three of six for seventh-graders.

Also, the district’s English Language Learners continue to struggle on the test, "reinforcing our belief that a fundamental understanding of the English language is paramount to students’ ability to be successful academically," Schofield said.

The district is compiling the results of students new to the school system.

Last year, the system had some 1,600 students whose scores were significantly lower in all areas than students who had been in the system for two or more years.

Individual school results are not available at this time.



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