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Cleveland Plain Dealer
Ohio students scored better on English tests this year, but sometimes worse in math
By Patrick O'Donnell
July 10, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio students scored better on the state's English tests this year than last year - with proficiency rates rising 5-6% for most grades - but they had much smaller gains in math and sometimes scored worse.

Ohio Department of Education officials shared early results from state tests with the state school board this afternoon, giving the first look at how students did on Ohio's second year of testing through the American Instutes for Research.

Scores were only available for the entire state, but not by districts. Those results will not be available until state report cards are released in September.

But early scores show "modest" improvement.

"Across the board, numbers tend to be up," said Chris Woolard the director of accountability for the department. "That's a good thing and we'll see how that plays out."

There was a large jump in third grade reading scores, with profociency rising close to 10 percent. That has been a key focus of schools and the state under Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee, which requires students to read well before being promoted out of third grade.

And proficiency rates improved by more than 6% for both high school English exams, compared to last year.

"The prideful person in me wants to look at the ELA (English Language Arts) numbers and say those are pretty good," said State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria.

But he cautioned that results are early and gains are not strong for all tests.

"Given the level of noise in the numbers, it's hard to come to any specific conclusion," DeMaria said.

While math proficiency often rose by a few points, that rate fell for 5th grade math and for two of the four high school math tests. High school biology scores also fell, along with high school American history results.

DeMaria said that high school results are harder to judge, since some of the students included in these numbers scored poorly on them last year and were re-taking the tests. He also stressed these early results offer little insight into how well students are doing toward earning scores that would qualify to graduate from high school.

DeMaria said he is interested in more detailed results that will come later to see how well students did on re-takes.

He also discounted the slide in high school physical science tests, which were taken by very few students this year, almost all likely as re-takes.

Click on the link for charts showing results by grade, with changes compared to last school year at The Cleveland Plain Dealer


 
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