SP Test Scores

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 10, 2008

SP scores show improved numbers in several areas

By Rupert Howell

Guardedly optimistic would probably sum up Dr. Keith Shaffer’s opinion of recently released state-wide test scores concerning South Panola School District’s overall scores compared to the state average.

Both grades three and six scored above the state’s average mean scale score on the Mississippi Curriculum Test, 2nd Edition.

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Subject area test scores for South Panola High School indicated a higher percentage passing rate than the state average and a higher mean scale score in Biology I.

No improvement for a sub group of Individual Education Plan  (IEP) fourth graders representing students with special needs, in math scores for two consecutive years, will cause the district to take remedial action and offer affected students  “choice” as an alternative.

The high school also scored “basic” and above the state average in four subject areas, and higher than the state average in three subject areas with “proficient” and above. The grading scales include four ratings: “minimal,” “basic,” “proficient” and “advanced,” with advanced being the highest rating.

A ranking level, such as the one through five level used previously, has yet to be replaced following the new MCT2 and SATP testing according to district superintendent Dr. Keith Shaffer.

The superintendent explained that “No Child Left Behind” standards are still in place with improvement status based on Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in all subgroups.

“We failed to make AYP at Batesville Middle School with the IEP subgroup for the past two years,” Shaffer stated, explaining that a letter went home with students discussing options including transferring to Pope School and additional programs that will be coming to the BMS to assist with math.

“We do not anticipate many, if any, parents interested in exercising school choice, but we have a process to deal with that,” Shaffer explained, adding that all other subgroups at all schools were in good shape.

Detailed results may be found at the Mississippi Department of Education’s Web site. School trustees will discuss the scores at their October board meeting scheduled October 21 at 7 p.m. at the Parent Center on College Street.

A detailed comparison, including neighboring school districts’ overall scores, will be published at a later date.

Shaffer also explained the goals to be addressed with the test scores include: having fewer students scoring “minimal,” decreasing student numbers in “basic,” then moving them to “proficient” and “advanced,” and thirdly, having all students scoring “proficient” or higher, a mandate of No Child Left Behind by 2014.