Archive for Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Drop in ACT scores disappoint principal

September 12, 2001

After reviewing recent student assessment scores Monday night, Tonganoxie High School principal Mike Bogart was blunt in his own assessment.

"Our ACT scores went the way of the Dow Jones Industrial," Bogart told school board members. "That's pretty discouraging to have a 19.8 after five years of progress." Last year, Tonganoxie seniors had a 21.6 composite average on the ACT tests, which matched the state average.

But after seeing the results of the 2001 ACT test taken by 65 seniors, Bogart said he wants to return to a program of more rigorous preparation.

In recent years the school has held ACT-preparation workshops that seemed to have helped.

"But last year we opted for morning sessions, we bought videos, things of that nature, and we didn't have good attendance," Bogart said.

So, Bogart said this year the school would go back to the original plan of holding evening workshops.

The school board members also were briefed on state assessment test results.

"In the state reading tests in the 11th grade this year we had a total score of 79.3," Bogart said.

The state average for reading was 80.9.

"We scored 1.6 points below the state average, which is not where we want to be," Bogart said.

In math, THS 10th-graders scored an average 47.1, compared with the state's 47.5 average.

Science was a bright spot, with THS 10th-graders scoring an average of 61.5, compared with the state average of 56.2.

In social sciences, THS 10th-graders averaged 56.7; the state average was 57.5.

On the Stanford Achievement Test, THS students showed increases over last year in reading, math and social studies, but took a slight dip in science.

Steve Woolf, junior high principal, said that across the board, eighth-grade students beat the state average in reading scores.

In vocabulary scores, the TJHS students scored 90.1, compared with a state average of 85.9; and in literary scores, THJS students came in at 83.2, above the state average of 78.2.

It was a race to the finish in math, with the seventh-grade students coming in at an average 54.9, one-tenth of a point below the state average of 54.8.

TJHS eighth-grade students topped the state average in social studies.

"We did better than the state in every area of social studies," Woolf said. "But that's not as good as we're going to be."

Woolf said in science, the seventh-graders could have done better. He attributed that in part to recent changes in the state's test.

Sixth-grade students beat the state averages in social studies assessments last year, said Jerry Daskowski, principal of Tonganoxie Elementary School.

In the sciences, fourth-grade students were neck and neck with state averages, topping the state average in technology and personal and environmental studies, leveling off with the state average in inquiry and life science, and falling only slightly below the state average in physical science and earth science.

State average 2001 reading scores are not available yet, Daskowski said. However in comparing Tonganoxie fifth-grade reading scores from 2000 and 2001, student scores increased from 80.7 in 2000 to 82.7 in 2001. In the 2001 state math assessments for fourth-graders, the 2001 scores averaged a 3-point increase over 2000.

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