(Dover, De.) Test scores of Delaware students in grades 2-10 continue to level off in reading and mathematics, according to results of the March 2008 Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP) released today by Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff.
“Nearly every grade shows 80% or more of our students meeting or exceeding standards in reading,” said Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff. “At that level of success, it is unlikely to see large jumps or gains. Maintaining this level of performance is certainly commendable.” Added Woodruff, “In math, we saw gains in seven of nine grades assessed while the two other grades remained unchanged. This is also good news especially with the improvement seen in the middle school grades.”
The results are as follows:
MATHEMATICS: At grades 2-5, students meeting or exceeding the standard ranges from 87% in grade 2 to 76% in grade 5. In grades 6-8, middle school student scores range from 75% in grade 6 to 65% in grade 8. At the high school level, grade 9 student scores increased to 53% while grade 10 student scores increased slightly to 58%.
Comparing test scores to last year’s results, 77% of children tested in the third grade met the standard – the same percentage from the scores of last year’s third graders. In the fifth grade, 76% of students tested met the standard, also identical from last year’s scores.. The proportion of this year’s eighth grade students meeting or exceeding the standard is at 65%, which is a four percentage point increase over last year’s eighth graders, while in the tenth grade, 58% performed at or above standard, one percentage points higher than the tenth graders of 2006.
READING: In grades 2-5, the trend is that between 85-86% of students statewide are meeting the standard in reading. At the middle school grades, students are scoring at 81% while at the high school grades, the range of scores is between 76-71%.
Comparing this year’s test score results to the results of 2007, 82% of third grade students who took the DSTP met or exceeded the standard, a one percentage point decrease from 2007. Fifth grade reading performance increased to 86%, a one percentage increase from 2007. Eighty-one percent of eighth grade students tested met or exceeded the reading standard, a one percentage point decrease from last year. In the tenth grade, the proportion of students meeting or exceeding the standard dipped slightly to 71%, a one-percentage point decrease from 2007.
WRITING: In grades 3-5, writing scores of students who met or exceeded the standard fluctuate between 45% in grade 3 to 66% in grade 4 and 62% in grade 5. At the middle school grades, grade 6 students scored at 70%, grade 7 students scored at 58% while grade 8 students scored at 81%. At the high school level, grade 9 scored at 79% while grade 10 students scored at 81%.
Comparing this year’s results to 2007, third grade student scores dropped to 45% meeting the standard, a twenty-two point decrease from last year’s third graders. Sixty-two percent of fifth grade students met the standard, which is the same as in 2007. In the eighth grade, 81% of students tested in writing met the standard which was three percentage points higher than last year’s scores. In the tenth grade, scores decreased to 81% of students meeting the standard, a fifteen percentage point increase compared to last year.
The writing assessment consists of two items: a stand alone prompt to which students respond and a text based item which asks students to read a passage and write a response to a specific question. The fluctuation in scores from year to year is largely due to the scores being based on only two items.
Delaware students in grades 2-10 once again participated in the nationally-normed 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 same 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 64% to 74%; in grades 6-8, rankings ranged from 67% to 69%; and in grades 9 and 10, rankings ranged from 77% to 72% respectively. In reading, rankings in grades 2-5 ranged from 67% to 77%; in grades 6-8, rankings ranged from 65% to 70%; and in grades 9 and 10, students leveled off at 72% respectively.
The public access website opens at 1:00 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.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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