Dover, Del.–June 17, 2004 Governor Ruth Ann Minner announced Thursday that scores on the 2004 Delaware Student Testing Program improved in all three subjects—reading, writing and math—and at all four tested grade levels,with the exception of fifth-grade writing, which remained the same as last year. Students are tested in grades three, five, eight and 10.Students also improved their scores as compared with other students in the country, increasing their national percentile ranking in all grade levels in both reading and mathematics.
“I am extremely pleased with the remarkable student improvement on this year’s test,” Governor Ruth Ann Minner said. “I’m proud of our students,I’m proud of our teachers and I’m proud of the parents who have helped to make this possible. Our goal from the beginning has been continuous improvement and we are most definitely achieving that goal.We will continue to work until we see improvement in all students, in all grades, in all of our schools.”
Results are as follows:
READING: In third grade reading, 82 percent of the students who took the DSTP met or exceeded the standard, a three-percentage point difference from 2003. Fifth grade reading performance climbed to 85 percent,a seven-percentage point increase from last year. Seventy-one percent of eighth grade students tested met or exceeded the reading standard, a one-percentage point increase from last year.In the tenth grade, the proportion of students meeting or exceeding the standard rose to 71 percent, a four-percentage point increases from 2003.
MATHEMATICS: In the third grade, 78 percent of children tested met the standards—a four-percentage point increase from the scores of last year’s third graders. In the fifth grade,75 percent of students tested met the standard, an increase of four points from the scores of last year’s fifth graders. The proportion of this year’s eighth grade students meeting or exceeding the standard is at 50%,three percentage points higher than last year’s eighth graders. Of this year’s tenth graders, 53% performed at or above standard, eight percentage points higher than the tenth graders of 2003.
WRITING:In writing, the most substantial increase in any of the content areas occurred as third grade student scores climbed to 52 percent meeting the standard—a thirteen point increase from last year’s third graders.Sixty percent of fifth grade students met the standard, which equals last year’s performance. In the eighth grade, 81 percent of students tested in writing met the standard,a three-percentage point increase from last year’s eighth graders. In the tenth grade, scores climbed to 80% of students meeting the standard, a seven-percentage point increase compared to one year ago.
With the latest scores, Delaware’s national percentile ranking continued to climb steadily in both reading and mathematics in all four grades.The national percentile ranks are based on a portion of the Stanford Achievement Test, 9th Edition (SAT9), which is embedded in the DSTP. Comprising nearly 1/3 of the questions on the DSTP exams in reading and math,the SAT9 allows Delaware to compare test results against students across the country.
Added Woodruff, “I, too, am extremely proud of the hard work of our educators and the achievement of our students. Over the seven years we have administered the DSTP we have seen a steady climb in test scores. The focus on student achievement by administrators at all levels and teachers at every grade is clearly improving the quality education for every student.”
Secretary Woodruff was also pleased to see gains in math, not only at the elementary level, but at the middle and high school grades, as well.“We all know that the middle and high school math scores have been an ongoing concern.” Added Secretary Woodruff, “We will continue to focus on examining our work on both assessment and curriculum,and we will continue to invest resources on math instruction, curriculum development and alignment and professional development for our teachers.Our educators and our students must have the tools they need to continue their improvement.”
This year’s score results also showed significant improvement in the number of students who are exceeding the standards in reading, writing and math.“It is obvious by this year’s results that our investments are paying off,” said Woodruff. “Not only are we seeing more and more students meeting the standards,it is important to note that more of our students are scoring at the ‘exceeds the standard’ and ‘distinguished’ levels of academic performance. Many of our students are capable of outstanding achievement,and we must do all we can to help them reach those higher levels.”
School districts were able to access a password-secured website on May 28th. Within the first 72 hours, nearly 59,000 ‘hits’ were recorded on the website. Since then, nearly a quarter million hits have been made by administrators, teachers, counselors and those registered to access the password-secured website.The information provided on the DOE website is used by educators to help make decisions for summer programs and to begin work on Individual Improvement Plans.
The public access website opens at 1 p.m. today. School personnel, parents, policy makers, and the media are encouraged to visit DOE’s web site at http://www.doe.k12.de.us/aab to look at data pertinent to them and to their schools. DOE has also established a DSTP hotline for those who are seeking additional information.The toll free number to call is 1-877-838-DSTP.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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