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November 19, 2017
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Stillwater News

Grades 3-8 test scores reflecting new Common Core curriculum released

Scores establish new baseline for student performance

Aug. 7, 2013 — The State Education Department today released results of the grades 3-8 math and English language arts (ELA) exams that students took this past April. This was the first year these exams were revamped to reflect the new Common Core Learning Standards.

As expected, the massive changes in curriculum, testing and scoring practices resulted in a significant decrease across the state in student proficiency levels compared to prior years. However, the State Education Department predicted this decrease, and cautions against any direct comparison of the scores with previous years.

Instead, the state says that the scores provide a new baseline for student performance based upon the changes taking place in classrooms across the state and the country. These new standards are designed to better prepare students to tackle college-level courses and gain skills needed in current and future careers.

"This baseline will be helpful for Stillwater administrators and teachers moving forward as we continue to develop our curriculum to better align with the new standards," said Stillwater Superintendent Stanley Maziejka. "Regardless of the scores, I am proud of our students and staff. I think it's important that the school and parents continue to work together to help our students rise to these more rigorous standards."

A new baseline

As in the past, students' scores on the exams are converted into a scoring range of 1 through 4. The scale breakdown is as follows:

  • Level 4: Student excels in Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) for his/her grade level.
  • Level 3: Student is proficient in CCLS for his/her grade level.
  • Level 2: Student is not proficient in CCLS for his/her grade level.
  • Level 1: Student is well below proficient in CCLS for his/her grade level.
 

As expected, the proficiency levels for Stillwater—and districts across the state—dropped with the introduction of the new exams. Overall, 29.7 percent of Stillwater students were deemed proficient (scoring at Level 3 or 4) in ELA, and 34.3 percent were proficient in math. Statewide, 31.1 percent of students were proficient in ELA and 31.0 percent were proficient in math.

Percentage of Students Scoring 3 or 4 (Proficient Levels) on 2012-13 State Exams

Grade/Test
State Average
Stillwater Average
Grade 3 ELA
31.1%
31.7%
Grade 3 Math
34.2%
35.3%
Grade 4 ELA
30.3%
28.9%
Grade 4 Math
36.3%
44.0%
Grade 5 ELA
30.2%
28.4%
Grade 5 Math
29.9%
30.4%
Grade 6 ELA
29.6%
32.1%
Grade 6 Math
30.6%
42.5%
Grade 7 ELA
31.4%
19.5%
Grade 7 Math
27.7%
16.9%
Grade 8 ELA
33.7%
40.9%
Grade 8 Math
27.4%
42.5%
 

The test scores do not factor into a student's grades. Scores on state assessments have historically helped to determine which students may need extra help and the best ways to provide extra academic support.

"The bottom line is that while we all put importance on a given year’s test results, the larger purpose of what we do is making sure that students have the skills, knowledge and experience they need to be successful in life after high school. And I know that we are committed to that here at Stillwater," said Maziejka.

Parents of students in grades 3-8 will soon receive information about their child's performance on the state exams. Parents with questions about their child's results should contact their child's school building principal for more information.

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