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DOE Releases AYP Results and High School Test Scores
Participation in SAT is higher in spring 2008
September 8, 2008
AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education today released the results of the Maine High School Assessment, which includes the May 2008 administration of the SAT, and also released the yearly listing of Maine schools that made or did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) according to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Maine High School Assessment (including the SAT)
A higher percentage of high school juniors took the SAT last spring – 96 percent compared to 95 percent – than the previous year. This was the third year in a row that the SAT reasoning test, plus a math supplement, and this year a science supplement, are being used as the grade 11 assessment in place of the previous Maine Educational Assessment test.
“More kids are taking the SAT, they’ve come to expect it as the norm, and our teachers and administrators are now also used to the routine,” said Education Commissioner Susan A. Gendron.
This year’s performance showed minor improvements over last year’s. The percentage of students meeting or exceeding the standards in reading rose from 46 to 48 percent. In mathematics, it rose from 40 to 41 percent. In writing, the percentage meeting or exceeding expectations fell from 47 to 45 percent. The gender difference was minimal. In reading, girls averaged a scaled score of 1142 compared to 1140 for the boys. In both mathematics and science, boys averaged one point higher. In writing, girls scored four points higher than boys. Nationally, the differences are greater, especially in mathematics, where boys scored on average 33 points higher than girls on the SAT, and in writing, where girls scored 13 points higher on average.
“We are seeing more kids taking the test and performance in most areas rise gradually,” Gendron said. “To see 96 percent of our 11th graders show up for four hours of rigorous testing on a Saturday morning is heartening. I think the SAT has firmly taken hold in our state.”
Maine was the first state in the nation to use the SAT as part of its grade 11 assessment. Gendron contended the use of the SAT would raise aspirations for high school students, and also argued that the skills and content knowledge needed by high school students entering the work force are similar to those necessary for students going on to college.
Initially, the US Department of Education told Maine the SAT could not be used to assess its students, but by producing information, making its case, and agreeing to administer 18 supplemental mathematics questions (called the “math augmentation”), Maine was able to convince the USDE to approve the assessment tool. The feds finally gave full approval to Maine’s assessment system, including the use of the SAT, in April 2008.
This year’s grade 11 assessment now also includes a science supplement. The science results must also be reported to the federal government, but do not count in determining AYP status. Because science was not included the previous year, no year-to-year comparison can be made.
Dan Hupp, director of assessment for the Department, is using the release of results as an opportunity to remind students, parents, teachers and administrators of the free preparation materials available to them.
“Since the inception of the SAT Initiative three years ago, the Department has contracted with the College Board to make available to all Maine public high school students year-round access to the SAT Official On-Line Course, free of charge,” Hupp said. “The same benefit is also extended to all high school faculty and administration. This message has not filtered down to many students and their parents and in many schools this resource remains either unused or underused.”
More information about the Maine High School Assessment (MHSA) and timelines can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/education/mhsa/index.htm
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)/ No Child Left Behind Act
Thirteen schools that had been on the “priority list” for not making AYP came off the list this year (with another three expected, pending review). Another 19 schools that had been on the list made progress last school year and could come off the list if they make progress again this year (another five are expected, pending review). Meanwhile, 31 schools were added to the priority list for the first time this year.
The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires states to assess students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11. To “make AYP” a school must meet the participation and proficiency targets in math and reading or, if they don’t meet a target, show adequate progress in that content area. Five subgroups (American Indian, African American, economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient, and students with disabilities), as well as the whole school, must each make AYP; if any one group does not make progress in either reading or math, the school does not make AYP. In addition, the participation level in accountability testing must be at least 95 percent in each category. Average daily attendance by each group must be at least 90 percent in grades 3 through 8; for high schools, the graduation rate must be 65 percent or greater.
The first year a school does not make AYP it is put on “monitor” status. If it does not make AYP a second year in a row, the school becomes a “Continuous Improvement Priority”, or CIPS, school. Each year a school does not make AYP it advances – from CIPS1 to CIPS2, and so on. A CIPS school that makes AYP goes on “hold” and if it makes AYP a second year in a row, it moves off the list.
Highlights and key results:
Summary of schools status:
Complete AYP results, as well as an AYP Fact Sheet and additional AYP information can be found online at: http://www.maine.gov/education/pressreleases/ayp
The results of the Maine High School Assessment can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/education/mhsa/school_reports.htm
The results of the grades 3 through 8 MEA (released earlier this year) can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/education/mea/edmea.htm
David Connerty-Marin, Director of Communications, Maine Department of Education 207-624-6880
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