State Test Scores Show Continued Strong Performance by Norris Students

State Test Scores Show Continued Strong Performance by Norris Students

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Norris students continued their trend of substantially outperforming their peers across the state, turning in an especially memorable performance in the state Science test, assessed at grades 5, 8 & 11. The state of Nebraska’s Department of Education today held a press conference releasing results of the spring, 2013 Nebraska State Accountability tests in core content areas.  These annually administered exams provide key comparability information for district performance and a good indication for individual performance related to grade-level expectations for the area tested.

Norris results in the Science test were especially strong:

State Science Test, Norris vs. Nebraska

Grade

Nebraska % meeting standard

Norris % meeting standard

Norris vs. State Performance

Grade 5

68%

87%

Norris +19%

Grade 8

69%

83%

Norris +14%

Grade 11

63%

92%

Norris +20%

 

Norris Superintendent Dr. John Skretta emphasized that while the district focuses instruction to ensure all students can show proficiency on the state standards, the district is not interested in reducing instruction to test preparation and focuses on broader goals of college- and career-preparedness for every student.  He emphasized that the state tests “Are really just a mile marker for where we’re at,  and not something that is an end-in-itself for our teachers, who first and foremost want to instill a lifelong love of learning in our students.  The top priority is keeping a mindset that values learning. Learning and testing are not mutually exclusive, but the latter should never be confused as totally synonymous with the former.”

“Our mission is much broader than test scores and absolutely transcends what NeSA attempts to measure.  We view it as a baseline.  We are striving for at least 90% proficient per grade level, and then we will continue to ratchet upward until we can get absolutely every child there in each grade level.”

Other Highlights

The Titans’ performance in Reading and Mathematics remained mostly strong across grade levels assessed by the Nebraska State Accountability system of standardized state tests, with some cohort groups demonstrating an exemplary level of performance over their same-grade-peers statewide.

Reading Highlights, NeSA-R

Grade

Nebraska % meeting standard

Norris % meeting standard

Norris vs. State Performance

Grade 6

77%

88%

Norris +11%

Grade 8

78%

90%

Norris +12%

 

 

Math Highlights, NeSA-M

Grade

Nebraska % meeting standard

Norris % meeting standard

Norris vs. State Performance

Grade 5

75%

92%

Norris +17%

Grade 11

58%

80%

Norris +22%

 

While results were exceptional in some areas, the writing scores released earlier in the summer indicate there is room for improvement in Norris student performance and the district is aiming to demonstrate student growth in this crucial area.

Dr. Skretta stated, “We are optimistic that the new reading curriculum, which has a strong, integrated writing component with it, will assist teachers in targeting instruction in the key areas assessed by the state writing test.  We also know that the change in scoring criteria for writing at the Elementary level means that this spring’s score is simply the new baseline.  It’s all up from here.”