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Norris reading test results among best in state

Norris reading test results among best in state

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Norris parents and patrons should be proud of the results obtained by Norris students on the inaugural state reading exam.  Norris' aggregate results place the district in the upper echelon of the state.  The district exceeded the state percentages meeting or beating the cut score by more than 10% at every grade tested.  Norris ranked in the top 15 school districts in the state based on percentages of all students tested who met or exceeded the standard or cut-score for the exam.The results are consistent with our internal measures, such as the Gates and the MAP reading tests as well as other tools we use to monitor students' performance in reading.  Confidence in the hard work of teachers and the dedication of students to becoming better readers was justified by the fine overall marks obtained on the state test. That said, there is always room for improvement and Norris will strive to attain an even better outcome in the spring of 2011.The teachers of Norris understand that there is no more fundamentally important duty than to build students' skills as proficient, fluent, lifelong readers.  Parents have a huge role in modeling that and in immersing their pre-school aged students in print-rich environments.  There are many ways in which parents can partner with the school to promote their young people as readers, whether that is volunteering to be a guest reader in a classroom, giving books as gifts for special occasions, taking your young person to the library, celebrating the annual Norris Book Fair as a major event...all of these are potentially important, and all allow parents to model their own reading habits for the children in their lives.For all schools, including Norris, the results are not as spectacular as the 93% + proficient our district and numerous others had attained under the STARS system.  But the STARS system of locally created assessments allowed for retesting and did not provide for the comparability level that the new state test does.  That comparability is appealing to policy makers because it allows for an easy means of stacking districts up against one another.  Because STARS also allowed for re-teaching and re-testing, student percentages climbed over time. Norris is in good company as a district on the new state test, beating out Westside and hovering around our EMC cohorts Gretna and Elkhorn.  Norris will remain focused on the mission of helping each student thrive, and the inaugural state reading test NeSA-R is a good measuring stick of our students' independence as readers.