A look at how students in the region fare on proficiency tests

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In Concord, elementary students performed better on state reading and math assessments than they did last year, but skill levels at Concord High School continue to decline, according to state data.

Across the district, math scores rose slightly from 27% proficiency last year to 30% proficiency this year, according to test results taken in the spring. But reading scores have generally declined, from 47% proficiency last year to 43% proficiency this year.

Concord’s scores are well below this year’s national average of 51% in reading proficiency and 40% in math proficiency.

The greatest progress was made among third and fourth graders at Concord, with third graders jumping eight percentage points in reading and nine percentage points in math from last year. Grade 11 students at Concord High School didn’t fare so well, dropping 13 percentage points in reading and nine percentage points in math from last year.

“The district has been very focused on reading and math interventions,” Concord Deputy Superintendent Kimberly Yarlott said Wednesday. “We’re going to continue to monitor and we’re going to disaggregate the data to see different populations of students who did well or did not do well. We certainly have work to do.

New Hampshire statewide assessment data, from tests that took place in the spring of 2022, was released by the New Hampshire Department of Education last week and shows a division of pass rates between older and younger students a year after scores dropped dramatically during the pandemic. While the first data showing results at the state level had already been released in July, the dataset released this week also shows student pass rates at the district and school levels.

Data shows that statewide, New Hampshire students’ proficiency levels in math, reading, and science have increased slightly or stayed the same since 2021, but performance still remains below pre-2021 levels. 2019 pandemics.

“While New Hampshire’s assessment results recover some lost ground, we know there is still work to be done,” Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut said.

“We will continue to focus our efforts on recovery, and we hope that schools will use this data to inform and improve teaching and learning and that collaborative efforts will help our students reach higher.”

Yarlott added that student participation rates at Concord were much higher this year — 96% of students took the tests in 2022 compared to around 82% at the end of the COVID 2021 school year.

The Concord School District conducts many of its own assessments of student progress. This year, according to Yarlott, the district purchased iReady for the fifth year, to expand its ability to track skill levels. District teams visit each school each year to review test data with principals to see how students are doing at each grade level.

Yarlott said the ratings from state assessments are “not necessarily aligned” with Concord’s own assessments and its competency-based grading system.

“There is some validity to the trendline, but it won’t be the only assessment we rely on for student performance,” Yarlott said. “There are a lot of contributing factors that would cause a student to not do well on the state assessment.”

Six miles away, the Merrimack Valley School District has seen its assessment scores improve since last year. Districtwide, 47% of students achieved a proficiency score in reading, up from just 39% last year. Middle and high school students performed the best in reading, with 8th and 11th graders both scoring over 50% proficiency, while fourth-graders had the lowest proficiency at 42%.

In math, 40% of Merrimack Valley students achieved satisfactory results this year, compared to just 28% last year. High school students had the lowest math scores in the district at 23% fluency, while third and fourth graders both scored above 50%.

Superintendent Mark MacLean said the district recently implemented a new math curriculum, created a K-12 English Language Arts (ELA) specialist position, and placed more emphasis on supports. positive for behavior, health and well-being.

“Recognizing that there is still work to be done, we are pleased to see these results moving in a positive direction,” Superintendent Mark MacLean said Thursday.

“It’s gratifying because we’ve worked hard to analyze the data and strategize on how to make improvements. While standardized test results are just one data point, in conjunction with other metrics , we can use this information to make informed decisions about programs, interventions, teaching techniques, and assessment strategies.

“We are fortunate to have engaged students, supportive parents, knowledgeable teachers and staff, highly skilled specialists who collaborate in all areas of the program, and exceptional administrators who bring it all together. As I mentioned in my previous email, we are now digging deeper into the results to learn more about these standardized ratings. »

The Hopkinton School District has also seen improvements, with 68% of students achieving a reading fluency score this year, up from 39% last year. In math, 53% of students achieved a proficiency score, up from 28% last year.

In Bow, 62% of students were proficient in reading, up from 65% last year, while 50% of students across the district were proficient in math, up from 44% last year.

The state’s largest city school districts remain well below the state average, not increasing much in jurisdiction since last year. In Manchester, 28% of pupils were proficient in reading while 16% of pupils were proficient in maths, both up one percentage point from last year.

In Nashua, reading proficiency remained stable at 41%, while math proficiency increased by two percentage points to 32%.

Disparities persist

While not a new trend, racial disparities persist between test scores at Concord and elsewhere. According to spring 2022 data, only 15% of black Concord students districtwide are proficient in math, compared to 32% of white students. On reading tests, only 21% of black students scored proficiency, compared to 45% of white students.

In Manchester, less than 10% of black students in the district are proficient in math, compared to 21% of white students, and only 15% of black students are proficient in reading, compared to 35% of white students.

In Nashua, 22% of black students are proficient in math compared to 36% of white students, and 36% of black students are proficient in reading compared to 46% of white students.

Additionally, homeless students performed significantly lower than housed students in all areas. Only 13% of homeless students in Concord, 16% in Nashua and less than 10% in Manchester achieved a good level in mathematics this year.

Complete 2022 statewide assessment data is available on the New Hampshire Department of Education website. Users can sort results by content area, grade level, and student subgroup.

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