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Achievement Tests

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NEWS
January 21, 1989 | By RICHARD A. GIBBONEY
We have not learned easily to live with the power of numbers since Isaac Newton put science and mathematics into our soul 400 years ago. School reformers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania share Newton's belief in numbers without his insight. The governors and the legislatures in these states, blinded by the aura of science, falsely reason this way: Science uses numbers. Numbers make things scientific. Education is an unscientific mess. If we put numbers on this mess we can be objective (scientific)
NEWS
February 16, 1997 | By Todd Bishop, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Administrators studying testing in the Council Rock School District have discovered a phenomenon. They call it the "Lake Wobegon effect," after humorist Garrison Keillor's fictional hometown, where "all the children are above average. " The effect shows up frequently in results of district achievement testing. Large numbers of Council Rock students regularly record top scores. But that has a downside - one that administrators hope to correct. With scores largely in the top percentile, the 11,600-student district has trouble distinguishing students who are doing well from those who need help, said Robert James, the district's acting director of secondary education.
NEWS
May 9, 1991 | By Sandra Sardella, Special to The Inquirer
With a tray of vegetables to the right of her work station, Beatrice Simmons of Glassboro slices mushrooms with the quick precision of a chef. In an elaborately equipped kitchen at Gloucester County Vocational and Technical School, Simmons and a handful of other students in white smocks were in the midst of the hands-on portion of an achievement test that could make or break their plans for a career in the culinary world. But she and her group had more reason to feel jittery.
NEWS
January 17, 1997 | by Kevin Haney and Yvette Ousley, Daily News Staff Writers
School Superintendent David Hornbeck distributed his first set of grades on Philadelphia schools yesterday. There weren't many passing grades. Hornbeck released scores on the city's 257 public schools under his newly designed "professional responsibility index. " It gives each school a single grade based on achievement tests, promotion and graduation rates, and student and staff attendance. The index put numbers on what local educators have known for years: Students in poorer, crime-ridden neighborhoods generally attend school less, have lower grades and drop out of high school in higher numbers.
NEWS
October 11, 1994 | By MICHAEL KIRST and HENRY ROWEN
It is evident, except apparently to most U.S. parents, that in science and math, American students perform well below their peers in most developed countries. For instance, the average 10- to 11-year-old is about two years behind his peer in Taiwan or Japan in mathematics. The government's watered- down Goals 2000 legislation, intended to jack up our performance, will not do enough to change this dismal picture. Among professionals at the elementary and secondary school level, there is growing recognition and concern about our failings.
NEWS
March 5, 1997 | by Kevin Haney, Daily News Staff Writer
City Council members covered a lot of territory at yesterday's hearing on the School District's budget. They spent more time talking about educational issues than dollars. Councilwoman Anna Verna spoke about the rape of a student at Barratt Middle School last week, and parents who said they feared for their children's safety there because of previous incidents. "I just think it's absolutely deplorable that parents are afraid to send their children to this school," Verna said.
NEWS
August 6, 1987 | By Donna St. George, Inquirer Staff Writer
During the next four years, the Ridley School District will expand school cultural programs, consider revising achievement tests and try to distribute students more equally among its nine school buildings, administrators have pledged in a new long-range plan. The plan, unanimously accepted by the school board Monday night, comes after a year of meetings by district administrators, teachers and parents. To encourage planning in Pennsylvania school districts, the state Department of Education requires that such plans be adopted every five years.
NEWS
September 29, 1997 | by Kevin Haney, Daily News Staff Writer
Philadelphia's 257 public schools are slated to get their annual report cards today. In each, Superintendent David Hornbeck will grade students and educators, based on achievement test scores, student and staff attendance, promotion rates and high school graduation rates. The biggest part of the grade is based on achievement tests given to fourth- , eighth- and 11th-graders in the last two school years. Three weeks ago, Hornbeck announced that the number of students getting passing marks in mathematics, science and reading achievement tests had increased by at least five percentage points between 1996 and 1997.
NEWS
March 3, 2001 | By Jonah Goldberg
I have no great love for the SAT. I did OK, but not well enough to avoid getting rejected from every college I applied to. Ultimately, it was that awful math section. Without the math, I might not have had to endure everyone singing, "Be All You Can Be in the Army" to me during my senior year of high school. My bitterness aside, I still think it's a terrible idea to get rid of the SAT. But that's precisely what Richard C. Atkinson, president of the University of California, wants to do. Why?
NEWS
June 28, 1999 | By Aileen Soper, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Priscilla Feir came to the Muncy School District in 1996 ready to butcher sacred cows if that meant improving how children learned. But not everyone embraced her approach - tackling an outdated curriculum, the informal power structure, and traditional, lecture-style classes - in what was her first stint as a school superintendent. "They told me, 'If it's not broken, don't fix it,' " she said. "But I said, 'Your children deserve better.' " She started paying closer attention to achievement tests for the Lycoming County district's 1,200 students, and ordered their progress tracked from grade to grade.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
March 7, 2012 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
With one in five city schools now under investigation for possible cheating on state achievement tests, the Philadelphia School Reform Commission on Tuesday announced the appointment of a "testing integrity adviser" to help address past allegations and guide future exam procedures. David Adamany, a former president of Temple University, will serve in the unpaid post starting immediately. The next round of the achievement tests, known as PSSAs, begins Monday. Adamany, who said he had been "personally very distressed to see the condition of the Philadelphia public schools over the years," said the district must restore credibility concerning the exams.
NEWS
May 1, 2011
David L. Kirp is a professor of public policy at the University of California, Berkeleym and the author of Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children's Lives and America's Future At this time of year, students across the nation are diligently prepped for the dread exams mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act. The fate of thousands of public schools turns on how well their charges do. Now there's a study that appears to show that a...
NEWS
August 26, 2001 | By Matthew P. Blanchard INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
By the time high school senior David Sideman completes his quest for admittance to an elite university, he likely will have taken no fewer than 12 nationally standardized tests: There's Advanced Placement calculus, AP environmental science, AP government, and two sittings of the ubiquitous SAT. But most of Sideman's tests will be the newest acronym added to the soup: the SAT II. The so-called "other SAT" is a selection of 22 subject-based tests...
NEWS
March 3, 2001 | By Jonah Goldberg
I have no great love for the SAT. I did OK, but not well enough to avoid getting rejected from every college I applied to. Ultimately, it was that awful math section. Without the math, I might not have had to endure everyone singing, "Be All You Can Be in the Army" to me during my senior year of high school. My bitterness aside, I still think it's a terrible idea to get rid of the SAT. But that's precisely what Richard C. Atkinson, president of the University of California, wants to do. Why?
NEWS
May 28, 2000 | By Martin Z. Braun, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A 20 percent reduction in disciplinary violations by 2002. Proficiency in state-administered achievement tests a year later. A 10 percent increase in the number of students achieving a score of 1000 or better on the SAT by 2005. These are three of the long-range goals set by the Audubon School District and a cross-section of community members. At a recent school board meeting, district officials unveiled the goals and a plan designed to reach them. Titled "Creating the Future," the district's strategic plan is the culmination of six months of work by more than 50 volunteers, including parents, students and educators.
NEWS
June 28, 1999 | By Aileen Soper, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
Priscilla Feir came to the Muncy School District in 1996 ready to butcher sacred cows if that meant improving how children learned. But not everyone embraced her approach - tackling an outdated curriculum, the informal power structure, and traditional, lecture-style classes - in what was her first stint as a school superintendent. "They told me, 'If it's not broken, don't fix it,' " she said. "But I said, 'Your children deserve better.' " She started paying closer attention to achievement tests for the Lycoming County district's 1,200 students, and ordered their progress tracked from grade to grade.
SPORTS
October 27, 1998 | By Joe Juliano, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Rasual Butler got his number, and La Salle will look to add to its number in the win column as a result. Butler, The Inquirer's Philadelphia high school player of the year last season at Roman Catholic, confirmed yesterday that he had reached the Scholastic Assessment Test score he needed to be eligible to play NCAA Division I basketball. Provided that the 6-foot-8 Butler is approved by the NCAA's clearinghouse for eligibility, he will be able to join the Explorers for practice once fall-semester final exams end on Dec. 18 and enroll for the spring semester.
NEWS
September 29, 1997 | by Kevin Haney, Daily News Staff Writer
Philadelphia's 257 public schools are slated to get their annual report cards today. In each, Superintendent David Hornbeck will grade students and educators, based on achievement test scores, student and staff attendance, promotion rates and high school graduation rates. The biggest part of the grade is based on achievement tests given to fourth- , eighth- and 11th-graders in the last two school years. Three weeks ago, Hornbeck announced that the number of students getting passing marks in mathematics, science and reading achievement tests had increased by at least five percentage points between 1996 and 1997.
NEWS
March 5, 1997 | by Kevin Haney, Daily News Staff Writer
City Council members covered a lot of territory at yesterday's hearing on the School District's budget. They spent more time talking about educational issues than dollars. Councilwoman Anna Verna spoke about the rape of a student at Barratt Middle School last week, and parents who said they feared for their children's safety there because of previous incidents. "I just think it's absolutely deplorable that parents are afraid to send their children to this school," Verna said.
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