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By Kara Herlihy
Statewide assessment results from fall 2009 were released by the Vermont Department of Education on Tuesday. The results of the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) exams are given to students in grades 3 through 8 and 11; they were tested in reading and mathematics in all seven grades and in writing at grade 11 only.
Schools rank according to four tiers of proficiency levels: level 4 for "proficient with distinction," level 3 for "proficient," level 2 for "partially proficient," and level 1 for "substantially below proficient."
According to the 2009 results, 71 percent of Fayston Elementary School students were proficient (level 3) in reading and 53 percent were proficient (level 3) in mathematics. Thirty-six percent of FES students tested at level 4 in math, proficient with distinction, and 11 percent tested at level 4 in reading.
Forty-nine percent of Moretown Elementary School students tested proficient in reading (level 3) and 47 percent tested proficient in mathematics (level 3). Thirty-nine percent of students were proficient with distinction in reading and 36 percent tested proficient with distinction (level 4) in mathematics.
Fifty-three percent of students at the Waitsfield Elementary School tested proficient in reading and 44 percent tested proficient in mathematics. Twenty-nine percent of WES students tested proficient with distinction in reading and 32 percent were proficient with distinction in mathematics.
Fifty-seven percent of Warren School students tested at level 4, proficient with distinction, in math, while 35 percent were determined proficient (level 3). In reading, 39 percent of Warren School students tested at level 4, proficient with distinction, and 58 percent tested at level 3, proficient.
On the state level, 72 percent of elementary school students in grades 3 through 8 were proficient in reading and 66 percent were proficient in math. Sixty-nine percent of 11th-graders were proficient in reading and 35 percent were proficient in math.
"These results show that we continue to improve instruction and slowly but surely see better outcomes for students," noted Commissioner Armando Vilaseca. "Efforts to improve instruction in schools are paying off for kids. However, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure this is happening in all Vermont schools, not just the ones like U-32 that have risen to the challenge."
The NECAP exams are given in collaboration with Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The 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.
This is the fifth year of results on the NECAP exams for grades 3 through 8 and the third year for grade 11. As required under the No Child Left Behind Act, a science assessment is given in May in grades 4, 8 and 11.
For the complete packet of state results, including the PowerPoint from today's press conference, visit http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/dept/press_releases.html.
For school-by-school results, visit
To view some of the actual test items from this round of assessments, visit