Amity students increased their state test scores on three out of the four tests last school year. Board of Education Member Chris Browe said, “In general, we’ve done well in our DRG (district reference groups) and we continue to do well. In comparison, we’re about where we were or have gone up a notch here or there.”
Dr. E. Marie McPadden presented the 2016-2017 state testing results to the Board of Education earlier this month. The testing includes four state mandated tests: The Smarter Balance Assessment (SBAC), SAT, CMT and CAPT.
According to McPadden, the percentage of students who met or exceeded goal on the math SBAC stayed consistent at 78.3% to 78.5%. The slight increase rose Amity’s placement within the DRG from 10th in 2015-2016 to 6th in 2016-2017. The test is taken by third through eighth grade students each spring. “We’re well above the DRG here,” McPadden said. DRGs, she explained are based on socio-economic status, median income of family, what the primary language is that is spoken at home, enrollment numbers and percentage of free and reduced lunch dues. The most affluent municipalities make up DRG A—Amity is in DRG B.
SBAC science scores remained impressive, but flat at 80% for the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Science scores have increased from a 52% to a 69% for eighth graders over two years and from 66% to 72% for ninth graders over the same two years.
SAT scores in English rose from 577 up to 588 last year with the percentage of students meeting or exceeding goal increasing from 83.4% to 86.2%. “Year-to-year math, there is wonderful improvement. Two years ago, they got 563 average score. Last year it was 578. It went up 15 points!” McPadden said.
The CMT science tests also saw improvement when looking at scores of fifth graders who took the test again as eighth graders last year. Scores rose from 83.3 to 87. The scores revealed that 91% of females and 84% of males exceeded goal scores.
On the CAPT tests, students’ scores showed a decrease in those who met or exceeded goal year-to-year, dropping from 76.5% to 67%. “This bothered me because we’ve been extremely consistent. I spoke with someone at the state and he wouldn’t release a statement yet, but did give me some ideas. He asked if we use devices. Yes, they all use computers. He thought maybe the students just blew the test off knowing it wouldn’t be given again. Then I reached out to the other districts in our DRG and five of the 19 who got back to me said that they all went down considerably, many even worse than us. I’m not sure of the reason, but I hope we find out.” McPadden said.
The CAPT was given for the last time last year as the test has been eliminated and a new pilot test will be given in its place this school year.
By Melisa Nicefaro – Orange Town News Correspondent