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Mt. Pleasant School Board Explains Test Scores

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. – The Board of Education gave an in-depth report Wednesday night analyzing and explaining the state assessment tests for English and math in grades three through eight.

The presentation was delivered by Mary Elizabeth Wilson, director of Curriculum and Instructional Services, in front of about 25 parents. Wilson explained to parents that the lowered scores across each grade were due mostly to changes to the state's proficiency bench marks.

"It's like we were in the locker room at halftime and we came back out and the size or height of the goals had changed," Wilson said. "We're not making excuses for it, we're just explaining the data,"

Wilson reiterated that the district's scores for each grade level were around 80 percent proficiency and were well above the state average, although that average was never considered a bench mark for the district.

Superintendent Susan Guiney said it was helpful to analyze the data to improve the district in future years.

"The opportunity to look at this data and properly report it and use it with our instructors is a wonderful opportunity," Guiney said.

Parents were given the common core standard shifts in both English and math as reasons for raised proficiency bench marks. The presentation also explained what would be done as a result of these test scores, such as data inquiry teams and curriculum analysis in order to improve future students' scores.

Wilson said research is already being conducted and that reasons for lower scores among certain student groups, such as male English scores, are being uncovered.

"What we've found is that boys tend to enjoy writing and reading about things that may not relate to a typical school environment or test," Wilson said.

Questions from parents in attendance were encouraged throughout the presentation and the district provided links and resources for where they can access the test scores for their individual child or district-wide results.

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