Tests scores improve

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 23, 2000

status of Pike Co. Schools


Staff Writer

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June 22, 2000 10 PM

In a year’s time, Pike County High School has made it’s goal ­ getting off Academic Alert 2 status.

Results from the Stanford Achievement Test, Ninth Edition, show the school’s test scores increased by 5.67 percent, Superintendent John Key said.

"We are very happy with the effort the students, teachers and administrators made," he said after being permitted to comment on the scores that were released Thursday afternoon. "They have worked tremendously hard."

Schools and school systems are classified as Academic Alert if a majority of its students score below the 23rd percentile, the school or system failed to meet the required improvement or a majority of the system’s schools score in Academic Alert. When placed in Alert status, the school or system must examine reasons for low achievement and develop a plan to change it. If test scores do not improve the following year, they are placed in Alert 2 status.

Of the 47 schools in Alert 2 status last year, 41 showed improvement and will avoid state intervention in 2000.

Key said he’s happy to be in the clear, but added SAT 9 scores are "just a single aspect of the entire education program."

Troy Superintendent Hank Jones could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

SAT 9 results were released by State Superintendent Ed Richardson and the State Board of Education during a press conference and local superintendents were ordered not to comment publicly on their scores until the state’s announcements were made.

For the first time, all grade levels across the state scored at or above the national average on the SAT 9. Every grade level also remained steady or improved on the total battery and individual subject scores for the third year in the road.

According to results of the SAT 9, average percentiles from grades three through 11 were at or above the national average in all subjects tested with mathematics, social science and the overall battery scores increasing over the 1999 scores. Test scores increased in six grades and remained the same in grades 3, 5 and 11.

"The scores for the students tested in April reflect the highest scores in our state’s history," Richardson said. "Overall, the results are very promising and show the hard work on the part of Alabama’s educators and students. These scores confirm that the high academic standards established by the State Board of Education are attainable."

Gov. Don Siegelman, who serves as president of the State Board of Education, said this year’s SAT 9 results are "proof" that "we are changing education in Alabama forever."

Board vice president Dr. Ethel Hall said the scores are "wonderful news" for Alabama students and educators.

"I am very encouraged by the upward trend in these scores," Hall said. "The thousands of dedicated teachers, students and parents are to be congratulated for their hard work and support for academic improvement."

This is the fifth consecutive year Alabama students in grades three through 11 have taken the SAT 9. It is also the fifth year SAT 9 scores have been used for school and system accountability.