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Harwood Union rates third in state in NECAP assessment

 

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03/13/2008

By Lisa Loomis

Harwood Union High School 11th-graders had the third best results in the state on the recently released New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) results.

Released this week, the NECAPs gauged the math, reading and writing skills of 7,140 Vermont juniors.

"Harwood did have the third best results (47 percent proficient or above) -- tied with Champlain Valley and just behind Stowe (51 percent) and Mt. Mansfield (47 percent). They were also in the top 10 for reading (71 percent proficient or above) and writing (48 percent proficient and above)," explained Michael Hock, the state's director of assessment at the Department of Education.

At Harwood, 30 percent of the 150 students tested for reading placed at Level 4 (proficient with distinction), 41 percent placed at Level 3 (Proficient), 15 percent placed at Level 2 (partially proficient) and 15 percent placed at Level 1(substantially below proficient) in the reading category.

In math, 151 students were tested. One percent placed at Level 4, 45 percent at Level 3, 23 percent at Level 2 and 31 percent at Level 1 (where Levels 4 through 1 represent, in order: proficient with distinction, proficient, partially proficient and substantially below proficient).

In writing, 149 Harwood students were tested. Six percent of students tested were rated at Level 4, 42 percent at Level 3, 34 percent at Level 2 and 18 percent at Level 1 (where Levels 4 through 1 represent, in order: proficient with distinction, proficient, partially proficient and substantially below proficient).

In all of Vermont 7,140 students were tested for reading and 20 percent were found to be at Level 4, 48 percent at Level 3, 20 percent at Level 2 and 12 percent at Level 1.

Statewide results for math come from 7,086 students being tested. Two percent of students were found to be at Level 4, 28 percent at Level 3, 28 percent at Level 2 and 42 percent at Level 1.

In writing 7098 students were tested statewide. Four percent were tested at Level 4, 35 percent at Level 3, 46 percent at Level 2 and 15 percent at Level 1.

The high school assessment results for fall 2007 were released March 10 by the Vermont Department of Education today. The results are from the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) exams, given to Vermont public school students in grade 11 for the first time this fall.

According to a press release from the Department of Education, this year's testing results demonstrate an achievement gap persists between boys and girls, and between students from low-income families and their peers. In reading, girls outperform boys 75 percent to 59 percent. In writing, that gap widens to 48 percent versus 30 percent. In mathematics, the gap essentially disappears, with 31 percent of male students and 29 percent of female students demonstrating proficiency.

Students from low-income households are not achieving at the same level as their peers. In reading, only 47 percent of those students were proficient or higher, compared to 72 percent of their peers. In mathematics, 15 percent of those students were proficient or higher, compared to 34 percent of their peers. In writing, 22 percent of those students were proficient or higher, compared to 43 percent of their peers. When both gender and family income are examined, only 14 percent of females from low-income households are proficient in math, and only 16 percent of males from low-income households are proficient in writing.

The NECAP exams were created in collaboration with Rhode Island and New Hampshire. These exams are designed to specifically assess how well Vermont students have learned the skills and content contained in Vermont's Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities and Grade Expectations. This is the first year of results on the NECAP exams for grade 11. As required under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA), a science assessment is planned for May 2008 in grades 4, 8 and 11.

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