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Corinth schools digest variety of test scores
by Jebb Johnston
Sep 13, 2013 | 167 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With results of the Mississippi Curriculum Test 2, ACT testing and Cambridge examinations in hand, the Corinth School District is making refinements to its classroom strategies.

The district’s board of trustees recently received a report on the results of each and a look at how the district is reacting.

Ninety-eight Corinth students took the ACT college entrance exam during the past year with an average score of 20.7, bettering the state average of 18.9 but slightly behind the national average of 21.1. The district’s score is up three-tenths of a point.

“We want to work to get to the national average or above,” said Superintendent Lee Childress.

A key ACT indicator the district is watching is the percentage of students who are deemed ready for college-level coursework with a 50 percent chance of making a B or higher or a 75 percent chance of making a C or higher. Seventy-four percent of Corinth students who took the ACT were deemed ready for English composition, but the number falls to only 20 percent when looking at readiness across the four subject areas.

The district held an intensive ACT workshop for all seniors and some of the junior class this week.

The MCT2 results continue to show a need for emphasis on language arts.

“There still is room for improvement there, and they are not as strong as our mathematics scores,” said Childress. “It just further emphasizes the fact that we’ve got to continue to work with children to make sure particularly that they can read by the end of the third grade, and not only read, but read with strong comprehension skills.”

The number of students scoring advanced or proficient in language arts decreases from 71 percent in seventh grade to 51 percent in eighth grade.

“But when we look at the ninth-grade IGCSE scores, that is a much more challenging exam, and you will see that we bump back up in the ninth grade,” said Childress. “So it’s causing us to kind of have to shine a light on what is going on in the eighth grade in terms of language arts.”

The district had 54 percent score proficient or advanced in sixth-grade language arts, a number that may have been brought down by a testing issue in one classroom.

“We had to invalidate those test results because of the issue that took place, and a large number of those students scored proficient or advanced on mathematics, and we think they probably would have had the same type results on language arts,” the superintendent said.

The testing issue was self-reported by the district.

In the Cambridge results, the district is working to boost student performance on in-class work.

“We’ve got to get children to make more As and Bs in the coursework, because if you make a D or an F on the coursework that we send in, we are pretty much setting them up for failure on the exams,” said Childress.

Only one student scored an A on the IGCSE World History exam, and the district believes the students underperformed on the course work, which counts for a quarter of the grade.

The district spent some time during the summer revising the syllabus for the English literature course because it did not focus on some of the needed works.

The district is working on remediation efforts for students who did not pass a Cambridge exam. The rigorous Cambridge examinations are part of the district's participation in the Excellence for All pilot program.
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