City, county get test results

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2003

The State Department of Education released test scores from the Stanford Achievement Test Tenth Edition, the Alabama High School Graduation Exam and the Direct Assessment of Writing for fifth and seventh grade.

Most City and County schools tested at the 40th percentile or higher on the Stanford Achievement Test Edition 10. The national standard is set at the 50th percentile.

In the Troy City School System, Troy Elementary School tested at the 45th percentile and Charles Henderson Middle School tested at the 48th percentile overall.

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In the Pike County School System, Banks School tested at the 43rd percentile, Goshen Elementary School tested at the 48th percentile, Goshen High School tested at the 41st percentile, Pike County Elementary School tested at the 34th percentile, and Pike County High School tested at the 30th percentile.

Like last year, these scores are also disaggregated, or divided into categories like gender, race, economic status and special education. But new this year are the classifications that go along with the scores.

The new classifications include clear, watch and priority. Priority schools are those schools that score below the 30th percentile. An academic clear classification means the school has scored at or above the 40th percentile.

Not only does the school receive a classification, but the subgroups of data receive a classification as well.

Local school officials have not had time yet to completely analyze the data and interpret its meaning for individual schools. However, it is widely agreed that the way the data is presented will be helpful in targeting troubled areas.

"When you look at disaggregated data, you get a look at individual groups," said Carolyn Baker who coordinates testing for the Pike County School System. "It really helps pinpoint those students who are falling into the gap."

So, just because a school has an overall classification of clear doesn't mean it's clear in each area.

For example, since GHS tested at the 41st percentile, it receives the status of clear for all of its students. But black students and students on free or reduced lunch scored at the 33rd and 38th percentile, respectively. As a result, those two categories have a watch status.

This combination allows for seven different classifications including clear, clear with watch, clear with priority, clear with watch and priority, watch, watch with priority and priority.

Based on this classification process, GES has a clear with priority and watch academic status, PCHS has a watch and priority academic status, PCES has a watch academic status and Banks School has a clear with watch academic status based on the SAT 10.

In the Troy City System, both TES and CHMS have a clear with priority and watch academic status.

Schools that have priority status, like PCHS, will receive help from the state.

Baker said each principal and two teachers from each school will attend a workshop for two days in September at Troy State University.

"We'll look at the disaggregated data and write improvement plans," Baker said.

Since the data is so new, specific plans have not yet been made.

"We are in the clear and hope to continue to be in the clear," said Toni Stetson, who oversees testing for the Troy City School System.

On the graduation exam, GHS and CHHS have a clear academic status while PCHS has a priority academic status.

For the fifth grade writing assessment, TES has a clear status, Banks School has a watch status, GES has a watch status and PCES has a watch status.

For the seventh grade writing assessment, CHMS has a clear status, Banks School has a clear status, GHS has a watch status and PCHS has a watch status.

To see complete scores and classifications or to compare the schools to other schools statewide, visit the SDE website at and click on Accountability Reporting.