Dover, Del.–July 20, 2006Delaware students are continuing to show steady gains in reading and mathematics,according to results of the March 2006 Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) released today by Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff.Writing scores on this year’s test showed a slight increase for eighth grade students and a slight decrease for students in grades 3, 5 and 10.
“For more than a decade, education reform in Delaware has shown continuous improvement,”said Governor Ruth Ann Minner. “With a statewide recommended curriculum for English Language Arts and math,I believe we will continue to see more and more of our students meeting or exceeding state standards.With a solid educational foundation, our students will succeed as they move on to college and the workplace.”
“A number of schools have made good progress this year,” said Secretary Valerie Woodruff.“I believe the rise in this year’s scores are the result of our school districts and charter schools conducting more professional development for staff members and improving alignment of the curriculum to the standards to ensure students are given the tools to succeed.”
This is the first year statewide testing data is available for grades 2 though 10in the content areas of reading and math and grades 3 though 10 in writing.
The 2006 results are as follows:
MATHEMATICS:At grades 2-5, students meeting or exceeding the standard ranges from 88% in grade 2 to 77% in grade 5.In grades 6-8, middle school student scores range from 72% in grade 6 to 62% in grade 8.At the high school level, grade 9 students scored at 51% while grade 10 students scored at 59%.
Comparing test scores to last year’s adjusted results,78% of children tested in the third grade met the standard—a one-percentage point decrease from the scores of last year’s third graders. In the fifth grade, 77% of students tested met the standard,an increase of two percentage 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 62%,three percentage points higher than last year’s eighth graders. Of this year’s tenth graders,59% performed at or above standard, five percentage points higher than the tenth graders of 2005.
READING:In grades 2-5, the trend is that between 82%-85% of students statewide are meeting the standard in reading.At the middle school grades, students are scoring between 82 and 84%.At the high school grades scores drop from 75% in grade 9 to 71% in grade 10.
Comparing this year’s test score results to the adjusted results of 2005,84% of third grade students who took the DSTP met or exceeded the standard,a one-percentage point increase from 2005. Fifth grade reading performance leveled off at 85%,the same as in 2005. Eighty-four 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 dipped to 71%,a two-percentage point decrease from 2005.
WRITING:In grades 3-5, writing scores of students who met or exceeded the standard fluctuate between 61% in grade 3 to 71% in grade 4 and 51% in grade 5. At the middle school grades,grade 6 results are currently unavailable due to a grade-level review. At grade 7,students scored at 58% while grade 8 students scored at 78%. At the high school level,grade 9 scored at 79% while grade 10 students scored at 76%.
Comparing this year’s results to 2005, third grade student scores decreased to 61% meeting the standard—an eight-point decrease from last year’s third graders.Fifty-one percent of fifth grade students met the standard,which is five percentage points lower than last year’s adjusted performance.In the eighth grade, 78% of students tested in writing met the standard,a two-percentage point increase from last year’s eighth graders.In the tenth grade, scores dipped to 76% of students meeting the standard,a three-percentage point decrease compared to last year.
Delaware students in grades 2-10 once again participated in the nationally-norm ed Stanford Achievement Test,10th Edition (SAT 10). Comprising nearly 1/3 of the questions on the DSTP exams in reading and math,the SAT 10 allows Delaware to compare test results against students in the same grade across the country who took the test and shows the percentage of Delaware students who scored as well as or better than other students throughout the nation.
In math at grades 2-5, rankings ranged from 62% to 73%; in grades 6-8, rankings ranged from 63% to 67%;and in grades 9 and 10, rankings ranged from 76% to 72% respectively. In reading,rankings ranged from 67% to 76%; in grades 6-8, rankings ranged from 65% to 70%;and in grades 9 and 10, students leveled off at 72%.
In the summer of 2005, a study was undertaken to revisit and review the performance standards(cut scores) for reading, writing and math. Nearly 140 participants,representing all school districts, charter schools, colleges and universities and educational/community organizations gathered to review and adjust, if necessary,cut points for reading, writing and math in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10.Also, cut points were established and approved by the State Board of Education for the first time in grades 2, 4, 6, 7, and 9 in the same content areas.
Since some cut points were changed to be in effect for the March 2006 assessment,the 2005 state level state results were recalculated so that a comparison could be made between this year’s test results and last year’s in grades 3, 5, 8 and 10.There is no comparable data for grades 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9.Therefore, 2006 will be the benchmark for future assessments.
The public access website opens at 9:00 a.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.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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