NEWS RELEASE — Agency of Education
February 6, 2013
Michael Hock, 828-3115
Angela Ross, 828-3154
Writing scores improve!
MONTPELIER – Vermont elementary and middle school students made significant gains in writing compared to the previous year, according to the fall results from the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) released today by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE). Vermont public school students in grades three through eight and grade eleven were tested in reading and mathematics. Students in grades five, eight and eleven were also administered writing assessments. The tables that follow provide a comparison of this year’s test scores to the results that were released a year ago.
|Elementary/Middle School (3-8)|
|High School (11)|
The percentage of fifth graders who scored in the proficient range in writing increased five percentage points, from 46% proficient in 2011 to 51% proficient in 2012. Writing at the eighth grade level, proficient scores increased seven points, from 59% last year to 66% this fall. The percentage of high school students who scored in the proficient range dropped two points, from 48% to 46%.
Test scores for reading and math have not changed significantly from 2011. The percentage of students in grades three through eight who scored in the proficient range in reading went down one percentage point, from 74% in 2011 to 73% in 2012. Reading results at the high school level were the exact opposite of elementary/middle results, with the percentage of students scoring in the proficient range increasing one point, from 73% in 2011 to 74% this year. Math scores at the elementary/middle level were unchanged at 65% of students scoring in the proficient range. Math results for high school students went up two percentage points, from 36% proficient last year to 38% proficient in the most recent results.
“High school mathematics continues to be high on the Agency’s and Governor’s list of priorities. While we only saw a slight increase in high school math scores, our educators are serious about improving our students’ understanding and passion for math,” said Secretary of Education Armando Vilaseca. “If Vermont’s students are going to be ready to continue their education beyond high school and be successful in the 21st century, they’re going to need stronger math skills and knowledge. A 2% increase is not enough.” Vilaseca said.
Michael Hock, AOE State Director of Educational Assessment, pointed out that writing is the bright spot in this year’s results. “The importance of writing skills cuts across all areas of the curriculum,” Hock said. “For example, we know that our most successful schools have writing programs that focus on all content areas, even math and science. The impact of these programs is consistently evident in those schools’ test scores.”
The NECAP exams are given in collaboration with Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. These exams are designed to specifically assess how well Vermont students have learned the skills and content contained in Vermont’s Grade Expectations. This is the seventh year of results on the NECAP exams for grades three through eight, and the fifth year for grade 11. As required under the No Child Left Behind Act, a Science assessment is given each May in grades four, eight and eleven.
For the complete data of 2012 NECAP scores, visit: http://education.vermont.gov/
For school-by-school results, visit: http://education.vermont.gov/