Math scores on standardized tests declined slightly between the 2009-’10 and 2010-’11 school years. A review of the 2010-’11 school report card, recently released by the state department of education, suggests that fewer students are scoring in the “advanced proficient” range on state tests.
Students are evaluated as partially proficient, proficient, or advanced proficient on the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA). From 2009-’10 to 2010-’11, the percentage of students scoring in the advanced proficient range on the mathematics section of the HSPA declined from 71.3 percent of 411 students at High School South to 63.4 percent of 402 students tested.
At High School North, of the 403 students who took the HSPA in 2010-’11, 60 percent scored advanced proficient, 33.7 percent were proficient, and 6.2 percent were partially proficient. Those numbers are similar to 2009-’10, when 30.9 percent were proficient and 5.9 percent were partially proficient — but 63.2 percent were advanced proficient.
Larry Shanok, school board secretary and assistant superintendent for finance, said that fluctuations in test score averages from year-to-year are common. He added that he was not aware of any downward trends in any student performances.
For 2012-’13 the district is implementing new placement criteria for math courses, but Shanok explains that the initiative was not brought about by WW-P students’ test performances. Instead, the placement criteria are being streamlined.
“All the talk about the new placement criteria of AP and honors and parental overrides (WW-P News, December 2, 2011) was followed by a resounding silence through the school year because people were overwhelmingly happy with the new process. This is largely an extension of that process, applying the same principles to math at the middle school level,” Shanok said.
Similar results were recorded at the middle school level, where students took the NJASK (Assessment of Skills and Knowledge). Fewer seventh grade students at Community Middle School scored advanced proficient in the 2010-’11 NJASK (assessment of skills and knowledge) for mathematics. In 2009-’10, 60.6 percent of students were advanced proficient. That number fell to 56.8 percent in 2010-’11. The number of partially proficient or proficient scores rose by roughly two percentage points apiece.
Grover Middle School’s advanced proficient scores increased, from 58.1 percent in 2009-’10 to 61.9 percent in 2010-’11, while the number of partially proficient scores increased only slightly, from 10.3 percent to 10.5 percent.