November 21, 2012 | 589 views
District 13 officials look ahead
School officials and parents in District 13 know that standardized testing is here to stay. The question, they say, is how to properly prepare students for the tests while still providing them with a well-rounded education.
State testing was one of the major topics of discussion at the district’s annual Educational Planning meeting last Saturday morning at the James A. Dever School. Administrators, Board of Education trustees, teachers and community members gathered for a two-hour discussion of the state of the district’s academic programs and a look at the changes ahead.
Superintendent Dr. Adrienne Robb-Fund showed examples of questions on state tests from 2005 and sample questions for the tests that will be given in April, and noted how much more complex the questions are now. Students not only have to get the answers right, but also show their work in order to get full credit.
In addition to the state English Language Arts and math tests, which are given to all third- through sixth-grade students, they are assessed throughout the year to monitor their progress. Robb-Fund said that all of these tests, which are either from approved testing companies or created by the district, are aligned with the new Common Core Learning Standards.
Board of Education Trustee Bill Stris said that the advanced skills associated with Common Core are important. “We’re in competition with the world,” he said. “Our kids, in order for them to have a standard of living, they’re going to need to be able to do this.”
Robb-Fund also said that individual student data from the assessments are used to make instructional decisions in the classroom. Now more than ever, she explained, teaching is data-driven.
Last year, the district met its Annual Yearly Progress goals on the state tests, but, Robb-Fund said, district officials were still disappointed with the results. All four schools, she said, were rated as either effective or highly effective. The Dever school, which takes in students from Malverne, was the lone school rated highly effective.