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SK focuses on teacher, student assessment

March 27, 2011

SOUTH KINGSTOWN – At its work shop session Tuesday night, the school committee focused on how students are assessed, how their needs are met and how it relates to NECAP scores.

“We must be committed to doing whatever it takes to help each student succeed-every child, every day,” Assistant Superintendent Mary Kelley said.

In assessing student progress and needs, Kelley said there is a connection between staff and student learning and that the right tools must be used to address a given challenge for a student. Kelley said the district uses assessment to drive instruction, uses data to make important educational decisions and uses research-based instruction matched to students’ needs.

While assessing students and seeing where their strengths and weaknesses are and where they can improve, Kelley said teachers evaluate what critical knowledge and skills students need to succeed in a class.
In evaluating teacher-student assessment, the school committee also reviewed how well South Kingstown students do on the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) and how they compare to the state’s overall scores. In every grade from grade 3 to 11, the number of South Kingstown students who scored proficient on the NECAPs far outnumbered the statewide numbers in reading and math. For instance, 85 percent of South Kingstown 11th graders scored proficient in reading, while only 76 percent of students across the state did.

“We know academically where our students are. The NECAP provides public accountability, but we monitor our students every day. The scores are never a surprise for us,” Kelley said.

Kelley also informed the school committee that of the 1,770 South Kingstown students assessed in reading, 45.7 percent were female and 53.4 percent were male. Each student is represented by four tiers: gender, ethnicity, IEP status and free or reduced lunch status. Kelley said that girls and boys do about the same in the district. Of the 4.1 percent Native American student population, over 50 percent is not proficient. For the 2.6 percent Asian population, 58 percent is proficient in reading. African Americans represent 2.6 percent of the population and 53 percent scored proficient. Hispanic students make up 3.1 percent of the student population assessed. Kelley said Hispanic students do well on the NECAP tests, which is the opposite for many other districts in the state, where they do poorly. The Caucasian population makes up 87.7 percent of the district and the majority is proficient. The math scores received the same percentages as reading. Kelley added that this data is based on one year and does not represent a trend.

For more information pick up a copy of The Narragansett Times.

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