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Language Arts

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NEWS
May 5, 1991 | By David T. Shaw, Special to The Inquirer
The Downingtown area school board has given tentative approval to a budget of $53.7 million for next year - and a 13 percent tax hike to pay for it. At its meeting Wednesday, the board voted, 6-3, to pass the budget and to set the millage rate at 169, an increase of almost 19 1/2 mills. The new millage rate means the owner of a property with an assessment of $11,000 would pay about $214 more, for a total of $1,859.00 in property taxes. A mill equals a tax bill of $1 for each $1,000 assessed valuation.
NEWS
October 4, 2000 | By Tom Avril, INQUIRER TRENTON BUREAU
New Jersey's fourth graders have suddenly become smarter. At least, that is how it might seem to the casual observer, judging by newly revised scores on the controversial language-arts tests given to all public-school fourth graders the last two years. In some districts, the number of students passing the standardized exam climbed by more than 25 percentage points. The scores had no effect on whether a student was promoted to the fifth grade. The idea behind the tests was to help teachers assess weaknesses in their pupils' ability, but state education officials were criticized over the scoring because, in both years, fewer than half of the fourth graders passed the exam.
NEWS
April 11, 1991 | By Jeanne Daniels, Special to The Inquirer
The Lower Merion school board has discussed implementing a sixth-grade language arts program that may begin in the fall. Alan Rosenau, director of secondary education, said the current program consisting of two separate English and reading courses did not effectively integrate reading, writing and English. Adrienne DeFuria, a sixth-grade teacher, said at Monday night's school board meeting that the content of the language-arts program would involve strategies to improve students' oral communication, listening, reading and writing skills.
NEWS
February 10, 2010 | By Rita Giordano and Dylan Purcell INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
A majority of South Jersey public and charter middle schools improved their performance on state standardized tests for math and language arts last year, according to the New Jersey report card released yesterday. Their gains mirrored a statewide trend among middle schools - a positive development that a spokeswoman for the state's Department of Education attributed to students and teachers becoming accustomed to more rigorous test scoring put in place two years ago. When more demanding standards are implemented and scores fall, "they'll usually bounce back the next year," said spokeswoman Beth Auerswald.
NEWS
March 8, 2005 | By Melanie Burney INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Four South Jersey school districts, including Lenape Regional, were put on the state's newest "needs improvement" list yesterday because their students failed to meet federal benchmarks in math and language arts. Statewide, 30 districts and three charter schools failed to make adequate yearly progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Joining Lenape, traditionally a top performer, the other districts in the region that landed on the state's list were Camden, Winslow, and Camden County Vocational.
NEWS
December 17, 1999 | By Tom Avril, and Neill A. Borowski, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS Inquirer staff writer Alletta Emeno and Jennifer Moroz of the Inquirer suburban staff contributed to this article
New Jersey announced standardized test scores yesterday for each public school in the state, setting off the annual exercise among teachers and principals of seeing how their students stack up against their peers. But as they have been for months, many local school officials seemed more concerned about whether the tests themselves - administered for the first time this year to fourth and eighth graders - were valid. Much of the concern centers on an apparent oddity at the fourth-grade level, seen in the statewide scores released in September and in the school-by-school results made public yesterday: New Jersey students appear to be a bunch of crackerjack scientists who can't read or write.
NEWS
March 9, 2014 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Officials and parents at two charter schools that the state has ordered to close at the end of June said the action came before changes instituted this school year could be proven effective, and vowed a challenge. School community members of the Renaissance Regional Leadership Charter in Pemberton Township and the D.U.E. Season Charter in Camden said the action denied them an opportunity to show improvement that was afforded other schools. "Needless to say, we are devastated," said Lorna Hassel, Renaissance's head of school.
NEWS
June 20, 2013 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two Camden charter schools and a third in Atlantic County have been added to the list of schools put on probation by the state Department of Education. The D.U.E. Season Charter School and Environment Community Opportunity (ECO) Charter School, both in Camden, and the Galloway Community Charter School have been put on probation after recent enhanced performance reviews found they were "not providing high-quality education" and warranted "immediate action," according to letters to the schools from Evo Popoff, the department's chief innovation officer.
NEWS
June 30, 2004 | By Melanie Burney INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Test scores for Camden fourth graders increased markedly on the latest state standard tests, with a majority passing language arts and math, school officials said yesterday. Although most eighth and 11th graders in South Jersey's largest public school system again failed to meet state proficiency standards, district officials said the elementary school students showed significant improvement over the previous spring's tests. Among general-education fourth graders districtwide, 65 percent achieved proficiency in language arts, up 11 percent.
NEWS
January 26, 2005 | By Kristen A. Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Cherry Hill elementary and middle schoolers' test scores made significant gains over previous years' marks, the district said yesterday. Although Cherry Hill was recently reclassified by the state from one of the wealthiest districts to a middle-of-the-road one, its scores largely outpaced the averages for both economic groups. Ninety percent of eighth graders were proficient or advanced proficient in language arts, compared with 88 percent last year. In math, 84 percent were proficient or advanced proficient; last year, 70 percent were.
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NEWS
April 19, 2014 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two South Jersey charter schools are appealing state decisions that would force their closure by the end of this school year. The D.U.E. Season Charter School in Camden and the Renaissance Regional Leadership Charter School in Browns Mills both received notification last month that their charters would not be renewed because of academic deficiencies. In appeals being processed by the state's courts and being sent to state Education Commissioner David Hespe, the schools argue that they were judged unfairly and that their achievements were underrated.
NEWS
March 9, 2014 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Officials and parents at two charter schools that the state has ordered to close at the end of June said the action came before changes instituted this school year could be proven effective, and vowed a challenge. School community members of the Renaissance Regional Leadership Charter in Pemberton Township and the D.U.E. Season Charter in Camden said the action denied them an opportunity to show improvement that was afforded other schools. "Needless to say, we are devastated," said Lorna Hassel, Renaissance's head of school.
NEWS
November 15, 2013 | By Melanie Burney and Dylan Purcell, Inquirer Staff Writers
New Jersey asked tougher questions in annual tests for elementary and middle school students, but the results remained nearly the same as last year - something state officials consider a positive outcome. The results from spring's standardized exams, released Wednesday by the state, are the first since questions in the majority of the grades tested for the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJASK) were aligned to the more rigorous Common Core Standard. Statewide, 66.7 percent of students in grades three through eight scored proficient in language arts, compared with 65.9 percent last year.
NEWS
November 10, 2013 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
Fifty-five school superintendents and the heads of four intermediate units in the region are urging state officials not to adopt a plan requiring students to pass proficiency tests in order to graduate from high school. In a letter sent Tuesday to the state's Independent Regulatory Review Commission, the educators raised several issues with the proposed Keystone Exams, from higher dropout rates to added costs for districts. As there are 62 school chiefs in the Pennsylvania suburbs, the superintendents represent nearly all of the districts in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.
NEWS
September 14, 2013 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG The State Board of Education approved a controversial plan Thursday to require all Pennsylvania students to pass proficiency tests in science, math, and language arts before graduating. The 13-4 vote to approve the so-called Common Core standards came after state officials said they would limit the proficiency tests to public schools, and agreed not to impose a statewide curriculum or reading lists, or expand the collection of students' personal data. "Gov. Corbett believes that these new academic standards will ensure that our children are graduating high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to compete with their peers locally, nationally, and internationally," said acting Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq.
NEWS
June 20, 2013 | By Rita Giordano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two Camden charter schools and a third in Atlantic County have been added to the list of schools put on probation by the state Department of Education. The D.U.E. Season Charter School and Environment Community Opportunity (ECO) Charter School, both in Camden, and the Galloway Community Charter School have been put on probation after recent enhanced performance reviews found they were "not providing high-quality education" and warranted "immediate action," according to letters to the schools from Evo Popoff, the department's chief innovation officer.
NEWS
May 31, 2012 | By Claudia Vargas and INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Persistently low test scores placed one of Camden's six charter schools on the state's new "priority list" of the lowest-performing schools last month, and a recent review of Freedom Academy Charter School just landed it on probation status. The middle school, which opened in 2004, could have its charter revoked if it does not implement a remedial plan by mid-August and if its academic performance does not improve, according to a letter from the state sent to Freedom Academy officials last week.
NEWS
May 1, 2012 | By Rita Giordano, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Gov. Christie announced Monday that he wanted to do away with the state's current high school assessment exams and instead use end-of-course tests. Christie was endorsing recommendations of the College and Career Readiness Task Force, which found that the state assessments now in use — the High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA) and the Alternative High School Assessment (AHSA) — are not aligned with standards New Jersey and most other states have adopted and are not a good gauge of whether students are prepared for college.
NEWS
February 2, 2012 | By Rita Giordano and John Tierno, Inquirer Staff Writers
Two-thirds of South Jersey's public high schools maintained or improved their performance on the state's most recent standardized math exam and nearly 71 percent did so on the language-arts test, according to data released Wednesday by the New Jersey Department of Education. Statewide, the passage rates on the High School Proficiency Assessments showed progress in narrowing the achievement gaps between economically disadvantaged students and their nondisadvantaged counterparts, and between white and Asian students and their black and Hispanic fellow pupils.
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