Leader Blues

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

TOP STORY > >Benchmark tests show area schools doing better

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

Most local Benchmark scores mirrored the state’s movement upward and some area schools and classes have nearly all of their students scoring proficient or advanced—six years ahead of schedule.

In fact, nearly 100 percent of students at Arnold Drive in Jacksonville, Magness Creek and Stagecoach in Cabot and Westside Elementary in Searcy scored at grade level or above.

According to the state education department, students continued to show improvement in the latest round of state Benchmark scores, with increases being made at every grade level, which also resulted in a closing of the achievement gap for the second consecutive year.

“You know you’re on the right path when each year marks progress toward your goals,” said Dr. Ken James, Arkansas commissioner of education.

The annual test, given in April in grades three through eighth, is designed to show how well students have mastered grade-level skills in math and literacy. Based upon the scores, students are placed in one of four categories: Advanced (able to work above grade level), proficient (working at grade level); basic (can do grade level work, but needs help) and below basic (has great difficulty with grade- level work). The No Child Left Behind federal regulations require that all students must be working at or above grade level (advanced or proficient) by the end of the 2013-2014 school year.

Dr. James pointed to a number of firsts with this year’s scores. He said it was the first time that more than 60 percent of the state third-graders scored proficient or better in literacy, and the same for the state’s fourth- and fifth-graders.

More than 70 percent of the state’s fourth- and sixth- graders scored proficient or better in math.

PCSSD

At the third-grade level, 75 percent of the county students scored advanced or proficient in math. Arnold Drive students beat that with 91 percent of students making the cut—second highest in the district.

Bayou Meto had 87 percent of its students score proficient or better, while Cato had 86 percent, Warren Dupree was at 80 percent, Tolleson was at 81 percent, Sherwood and Sylvan Hills were both at 78 percent proficient or better; Clinton Elementary was at 75 percent.

Oakbrook was just under the district average coming in at 74 percent proficient or better, Taylor was at 73 percent and Pinewood was at 65 percent.

In literacy, the district average for third-graders was 59 percent proficient or better.

Arnold Drive was the top score- getter in the Jacksonville area with 82 percent of its students proficient or advanced, followed by Cato at 69 percent, Bayou Meto, Sylvan Hills and Tolleson at 66 percent, Sherwood at 63 percent, Warren Dupree at 61 percent, Pinewood at 60 percent and Clinton at 59 percent.

For fourth-graders in the district, the average was 68 percent proficient or better in math.

Bayou Meto reigned supreme with 91 percent of its students at proficient or advanced, followed by Arnold Drive at 88 percent, Oakbrooke at 77 percent, Clinton and Pinewood at 76 percent, Sherwood and Sylvan Hills at 74 percent, Tolleson at 71 percent and Warren Dupree at 68 percent.

In literacy, the district average for fourth-graders was 59 percent. Arnold Drive fourth-graders were tops at 92 percent proficient or advanced.

Arnold Drive was followed by Bayou Meto at 76 percent, Clinton at 72 percent, Oakbrooke at 71 percent, Tolleson at 69 percent, Warren Dupree at 68 percent, Sherwood, Pinewood and Sylvan Hills at 65 percent and Cato at 60 percent.

In the fifth grade, 62 percent of the students were advanced or proficient in math.

Arnold Drive was again tops at 90 percent proficient or better, followed by Bayou Meto at 79 percent, Cato at 75 percent, Sherwood at 73 percent, Tolleson at 70 percent, Oakbrooke at 66 percent, Pinewood at 65 percent and Clinton at 62 percent.

In literacy, the district average for fifth-graders was 64 percent, but Bayou Meto fifth-graders blew past that with 80 percent scoring proficient or better.

Cato had 73 percent, Tolleson had 72 percent of its students scoring proficient or better, Sherwood was at 70 percent, Pinewood at 68 percent, Arnold Drive at 66 percent, Oakbrooke at 65 percent and Warren Dupree at 64 percent.

At the sixth-grade level, 58 percent of the students were advanced or proficient in math. Northwood Middle School was the only area school that met or beat the district average with 72 percent of its students proficient or better.

In literacy, 50 percent of the district sixth-graders scored proficient or better. Northwood had 58 percent of its students proficient or better and Sylvan Hills was at 53 percent.

At the seventh-grade level, 46 percent of the students made the grade in math and 48 percent in literacy.

Northwood had 54 percent of its students score advanced or proficient in math and 55 percent in literacy. At Sylvan Hills, 51 percent of the students made the cut in literacy.

For eight-graders in the district, the average making proficient or better in math was 44 percent and 59 percent in literacy.

Northwood had 45 percent make the cut in math and 62 percent in literacy, while Sylvan Hills was also at 62 percent in literacy. Jacksonville Middle School was at 60 percent.

CABOT

In math, 99 percent of the third-graders at Stagecoach scored proficient or better, followed by Magness Creek at 98 percent, Eastside at 95 percent, Central at 94 percent, Northside at 89 percent, Southside at 83 percent, Ward Central at 81 percent and Westside at 79 percent.

At the fourth-grade level, 93 percent of Magness Creek students scored proficient or better followed by Eastside at 90 percent, Southside at 89 percent, Westside and Stagecoach at 87 percent, Northside at 82 percent, Central at 81 percent and Ward Central at 75 percent.

For fifth grade, 76 percent of the students at Cabot Middle School South scored proficient or better and 73 percent did the same at Cabot Middle School North.

At the sixth-grade level, 88 percent of the Cabot South students were proficient or better, while at Cabot North it was 81 percent.

For seventh grade, 76 percent of Cabot Junior High South scored proficient or better and 73 percent did the same at Cabot Junior High North. At the eighth-grade level, 72 percent of the Cabot South students made the cut, while 68 percent did the same at Cabot North.

In literacy, Stagecoach third- graders slipped by Magness Creek students, 79 to 78 percent. At Westside and Central, 75 percent scored proficient or advanced, followed by Southside and Eastside at 74 percent, Northside at 67 percent and Ward
Central at 58 percent.

At the fourth-grade level, 87 percent of Magness Creek students scored proficient or better, followed by Southside at 84 percent, Westside at 82 percent, Northside at 80 percent, Eastside at 75 percent, Central at 73 percent, Stagecoach at 72 percent and Ward Central at 64 percent.

At the fifth-grade level, 79 percent of Cabot Middle South students made the cut and 76 percent at Cabot Middle North did likewise.

In the sixth grade, 80 percent at Cabot South were proficient or better and 74 percent were the same at Cabot North.

At Cabot Junior High South, 69 percent of the seventh-graders scored proficient or better, while 64 percent did the same at Cabot Junior High North.

At the eighth-grade level, 81 percent made the grade at Cabot South and 79 percent did so at Cabot North.

LONOKE

In Lonoke, 81 percent of the third-graders scored advanced or proficient in math and 61 percent did the same in literacy.

At the fourth-grade level, 76 percent made the cut in math and 66 percent in literacy. In fifth grade, 66 percent were proficient or better in math and 68 percent in literacy.

At the sixth-grade level, 74 percent made the cut in math and 51 percent did so in literacy.

Meanwhile, 74 percent of the seventh-graders scored proficient or better in math and 59 percent did likewise in literacy. In eighth grade, 60 percent were proficient or better in math and in literacy it was 68 percent.

BEEBE

In Beebe, 86 percent of the third-graders were advanced or proficient in math and 68 percent did the same in literacy.

At the fourth-grade level, 84 percent made the cut in math and 73 percent did the same in literacy.

In fifth grade, 74 percent scored proficient or better, while 69 percent did so in literacy.

At the sixth-grade level, 77 percent were proficient or better in math and 67 percent did the same in literacy. For seventh-graders, 71 percent made the cut in math and the same percentage did so in literacy. In eighth grade, 63 percent scored proficient or better in math and 79 percent did so in literacy. For eighth-graders at Badger Academy, 39 percent were proficient or better in math and 54 percent were proficient in literacy.

SEARCY

At the third-grade level, 87 percent of Westside students were proficient or better at math, while Sidney Deener was 84 percent and McRae at 83 percent.

For fourth grade, 92 percent of Westside students were proficient or advanced in math, followed by 82 percent at Sidney Deener and 81 percent at McRae.

In fifth grade, 79 percent of the students were proficient or better at math. At the sixth-grade level, 81 percent made the cut in math.

Seventh-graders were 77 percent proficient or better in math, and 72 percent of the eighth-graders also made the cut in math.

In literacy, 83 percent of Westside students made the cut, followed by 74 percent at Sidney Deener and 71 percent at McRae. Fourth-graders at Westside were nearly perfect, with 90 percent scoring proficient or better, followed by Sidney Deener at 81 percent and McRae at 78 percent.

At the fifth-grade level, 84 percent scored proficient or better in literacy.

For sixth-graders, 80 percent made the cut, while it was 74 percent at seventh grade and 85 percent at eighth grade.