Board discusses scores

Published 3:35 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Members of the Prince Edward County School Board discussed ways to improve student performance, particularly on the middle and high school level, following a presentation of student performance at its most recent benchmark quarter evaluation by Director of Accountability & Research Dr. Greg Wheeler on April 11.

Wheeler presented graphics detailing student benchmark scores from the third school quarter, comparing the most recent test score averages from students with scores from students during the third quarter of the 2016-2017 school year.

Scores for English 2, 3 and 4 at the elementary school level rose approximately five, 14 and 13 points respectively. In math scores at the elementary school level, scores rose 18 and three points for math 2 and 3, and lowered nine points for math 4.

Email newsletter signup

The middle school saw lowered points for science 5 at an average of 37.2 compared with 43.1 with the previous year, but high scores for geometry, the average being 90.5 points compared with 70 from the previous year.

Mathematics and sciences at the high school level showed concerning points for both years. The scores were 3.1, 7.7 and 5.2 for Algebra I, geometry and biology for the most recent quarter compared with 4.2, 6.6 and 7.9 from the previous year.

Wheeler said particularly at the middle school level, more emphasis needed to be made to cultivate critical analysis by the instructors to the students, particularly in reference to questions that require analysis of the material, differing from identifying material, on the benchmarks.

He and Division Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson noted that 11 missed days due to snow and inclement weather, the outbreak of the flu and spring break were potential factors into the most recent scores.

Johnson noted academic field trips and other events also had an impact.

“Not only is instruction disconnected, but then teachers are also trying to reschedule things,” Johnson said, noting that academic field trips, which were rescheduled following the cancellations, also put students away from class. “Again, not saying that that field trip is not valuable, but it’s still another day … It has been a struggle this spring.”

Prospect District Member Elzora Stiff asked why the middle school had seen more dramatic of an impact.

“There’s still some alignment concerns,” Wheeler said. “Not as much content as getting to that next level as far as the analysis.”

Johnson said there had been recent turnover of teachers, resulting in a high number of new teachers to the middle school.