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Test Scores

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NEWS
August 13, 2009 | By DAFNEY TALES, talesd@phillynews.com 215-854-5084
Convening for the first time since summer break, the School Reform Commission received preliminary data yesterday that showed what Superintendent Arlene Ackerman called the "good and the bad. " Test scores, up for the seventh straight year, rose to 52 percent performing at grade level in math and 48 percent in reading, an increase of about 3 percentage points in each category from the previous year, according to district figures released yesterday....
NEWS
May 27, 1999 | BY MARGOT A. WELCH
Before the Colorado tragedies, with education reform emphasizing the importance of measuring student achievement by test scores, most national school news focused on academic performance. Everyone agrees that the primary responsibility of schools is to teach our children, but the public is also increasingly aware of how intricately children's academic and social needs are related. The heartbreaking events at Columbine High School make this tragically clear. Education reform aimed exclusively at improving schools by raising test scores, without strengthening the human connections in kids' lives, will fail.
NEWS
June 19, 1986 | By Tim Panaccio, Special to The Inquirer
The Haverford Township School District has decided to disregard this year's California Achievement Tests. Gerald M. Hogan, supervisor of curriculum for the district, cited "serious deficiencies in the programming," and "internal inconsistencies" in scoring the exam as reasons for the district's decision not to include the test results in student files. The decision to disregard the tests was announced by Superintendent Ewald Kalmbach at Tuesday's school board work session.
NEWS
January 11, 1990 | By Don Cunningham, Special to The Inquirer
With the dismal results of the latest national education report announced a few hours earlier, Paul Kelly took his concerns about the state of American education to the Centennial school board Tuesday night. Kelly, a Warminster resident, said in light of the poor national results and lack of improvement in local test scores - which measure math and reading ability - the board should seriously reconsider increasing teachers' salaries. "The 9 mill tax increase we had last year - it has been 18 mills now in two years - and the fact that in two years there has been no improvement in the TELLS (Test of Essential Literacy and Learning Skills)
NEWS
June 21, 1987 | By Patricia Hall, Special to The Inquirer
Nearly 96 percent of the ninth graders at Northern Burlington Regional High School passed the reading portion of the New Jersey High School Proficiency Test this year, Superintendent Walter J. Rudder told the district school board last week. In the math portion, 78.4 percent of the 245 ninth graders passed the test given in April, Rudder told the Northern Burlington Regional school board at a meeting Monday night. In reading, 95.8 percent of the 239 ninth graders taking that portion passed.
NEWS
March 10, 2003
ELMER SMITH is right: The Bush administration's test-driven education plan will leave many Philadelphia school children behind (column, March 5). But there is a more immediate threat to them: schools CEO Paul Vallas' scheme to base promotion on test scores. Every major organization of testing experts agrees that educational decisions should not be based on results from a single exam. The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, the National Academy of Sciences and the test publishers agree.
NEWS
July 11, 2011
Pennsylvania lawmakers should take care in considering a bill that would let school districts use students' test scores to measure teacher performance. The legislation would mandate a statewide change as early as next year. Standardized-test scores would weigh heavily in determining whether teachers keep their jobs, receive tenure, or get merit pay. Given the sorry state of education, with students dropping out and flunking at alarming rates, it makes sense to use sterner measures to evaluate teachers, reward the best educators, and show the door to those who continually fail to improve.
NEWS
October 28, 1998 | By Jennifer Farrell, INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
School officials released district-wide test results last week that showed mixed results across the curriculum. Superintendent Harold Kurtz pointed to an influx of new students with "serious learning gaps" as an explanation for the uneven results in reading, math and writing test scores. "We're fighting a tide of new youngsters with learning problems," said Kurtz, who said the numbers don't tell the whole educational story. "It's not fair. It's the reality, but it's just not fair.
NEWS
February 20, 1987 | By George Wilson, Inquirer Editorial Board
Results of test scores in grades 1 through 8 in the Philadelphia public schools, announced last week, are heartening in many ways. They show improvement in reading and math for pupils in all of those grades, which is the most important thing. They also demonstrate a fundamental turnaround for a school system that seemed to be down and out a few years ago and is now gaining steadily in public confidence, deservedly so. Constance E. Clayton has received much of the credit, as she should.
NEWS
September 7, 1994 | By Stacey Burling, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A study of a test widely used to measure the academic performance of students in medical school has found significant differences among ethnic groups and between men and women. According to the primary author of the study, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, medical schools need to put more effort into helping minority students catch up with white males. The schools and the test-makers also need to figure out why women and Asians do not do as well as expected, she said.
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NEWS
February 10, 2016 | By Robert Moran, STAFF WRITER
The University of Delaware will allow instate applicants to choose not to submit SAT or ACT scores, becoming the latest school to decide that requiring high test scores may deter otherwise excellent students. The university faculty senate Monday approved a four-year pilot program for students beginning in fall 2017. Applicants can still submit test scores for consideration, and all students will be required to submit test scores after they are accepted so the university can evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot program.
NEWS
October 31, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the first time since testing began 25 years ago, the latest results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests show a drop in math scores. And the tests also contained more bad news for the nation's schoolchildren. Although some results in Pennsylvania and New Jersey fell in 2015 compared with 2013, they were above national averages in what is known as "the nation's report card. " The national assessment is given to thousands of randomly selected fourth- and eighth-grade students, takes only about an hour to complete, and, unlike other standardized tests, involves no preparation.
NEWS
October 14, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
NOT ALL charter schools are rated in the 2013-14 School Progress Report. Charter schools aren't required to give students' information to the district for the SPR. Schools that did not submit the requested data to the district or submitted it too late to be included are not included in the report. About 62 of the 84 charters in operation when the data were collected cooperated with the district and are ranked in the SPR. The charter office expects that more charter schools, about 90 percent of them, will participate in the 2014 - 2015 progress report.
NEWS
October 1, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
Marcie Lichtman says her 14-year-old daughter had always scored in the "advanced" range on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests, administered to third through eighth graders. But when last year's scores in English/Language Arts and math arrived in the mail last week, the now-ninth grader was surprised to see she scored only "proficient. " "I needed to administer a little first aid to her self-esteem by showing her an article and video explaining what is going on," said Lichtman, who lives in the Fairmount section of Philadelphia.
NEWS
August 12, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Teachers are right, says Pennsylvania's education secretary, Pedro Rivera - the goalposts keep moving, and it's not fair to them. Based on standards that in some cases had students learning material that was a full year ahead of where they had been previously, state exams got tougher amid a period of steep decline in state aid. Scores, which have yet to be released publicly, dropped sharply, he said. And teachers will now be judged in part on student scores. In an interview late last week in Harrisburg, Rivera, a former Philadelphia teacher, principal, and union official who is now the state's top educator, said it brought to mind a "Peanuts" character.
NEWS
February 9, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
With lagging student test scores and only about 120 students in grades K-4, Spring City Elementary School three years ago looked more like a candidate for closure than for an extreme makeover. But with the boldness of a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, the Spring-Ford Area School District gambled on a radically different approach to fixing the struggling school near the border of Montgomery and Chester Counties. It spent roughly $300,000 over three years to arm students and their classrooms - even kindergartners - with the latest desktops, iPads, Apple TVs, and smartboards.
NEWS
September 26, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The results of the Philadelphia School District's 2014 state exams are in, and overall, city students' performance dipped slightly from the previous year. Fewer than half of all students met state standards, and both reading and math scores dropped. In reading, 42 percent of students met the bar set on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, down from 42.3 percent last year. In math, 45.2 percent met standards, down from 46.9 percent in 2013. "No one is satisfied with these results," Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said Wednesday.
NEWS
September 11, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
Rowan University will offer certain applicants this year the option of submitting an additional essay in lieu of SAT or ACT scores, joining a slew of schools that have eliminated or reduced standardized-test requirements for admission. The South Jersey university tested a "test-optional" program for performing-arts applicants last year. The success of that program has led to wider implementation: Students with 3.5 grade-point averages on a 4.0 high school scale will be eligible. A broad swath of students must still submit SAT or ACT scores, including applicants to the engineering school, applicants qualifying for the state Educational Opportunity Fund, home-schooled students, international students, and candidates for academic merit scholarships.
NEWS
July 30, 2014 | By Susan Snyder, Inquirer Staff Writer
In an effort to cultivate talented students who don't test well, Temple University says it will become the first national public research university in the Northeast to make standardized test scores optional for admission. The university expects as many as 150 to 200 students who likely would not have been accepted because of low SAT and ACT scores, but who exhibit other promising attributes, will be admitted for fall 2015. Many of them could come from the Philadelphia School District.
NEWS
May 10, 2014
Arguably, it has never been tougher to be a teacher in America - especially in poor, urban, crime-infested neighborhoods such as Philadelphia's Hunting Park, where too many children find it hard to focus their minds on learning. Education is the most valuable commodity children from such environments can obtain. They should have the very best teachers. Too frequently, though, they not only lack fine educators; they are subjected to pedagogical abuse. It's abuse when a teacher, prodded by a principal, cavalierly changes or provides the answers to a test rather than put forth the effort required to teach what the child needs to learn.
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