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October 18, 2012

Student test data reveals strengths weaknesses

Cooperstown Central School administrators have been examining data from Regents and other state tests to see what the trends are and how the district compares to the state average. The goal is to see where the strengths are and to identify where there may be a need to improve instruction.

Cohort and Regents scores from third through 12th grade, going back to 2006, were reviewed and charted.

Secondary Principal Michael Cring said an important factor to keep in mind when comparing data is the state raised the bar for the cut scores (the score that separates test takers into various categories) going into the 2010 year. This resulted in a lower percentage of students across the state that scored at a proficiency level, he said.

Without discussing particular teachers, Cring said measures will be taken to make improvements where the district feels they are needed.

“Plans of action have been put in place, depending on what the course is, depending on what the test is, an item of analysis has taken place and a review of either curriculum or potential weaknesses that have occurred with any of our student bodies are being looked at. And that happens every single year; and much more specifically now that we are into the new APPR (annual professional performance review required by the state).”

Elementary Principal Teresa Gorman said she and her staff are looking at the strengths and weaknesses, and more specifically at dips of achievement to try and figure out what may have gone wrong and how it can be fixed.

At the elementary level, Gorman said, work needed to be done to the schedule. For example, she said students are now receiving math instruction first thing in the morning for a full hour. Most other subjects are taught for 45 minutes.

She then pointed out the science scores.

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