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Test results uneven

NATCHEZ — Scattered results for the Natchez-Adams School District’s first nine-weeks assessment tests have school officials looking further into the numbers.

Superintendent Frederick Hill presented the test results to the Natchez-Adams School Board at its Thursday meeting and received concerned feedback from some of the board members.

At first glance, board member David Troutman said several areas of the test scores look low. Troutman questioned what other factors go into the test scores, such as whether the material students were tested on matched what the teachers taught.

Results of the test are given in averages of percentage of items correct. Board member Benny Wright said he was concerned that there were large gaps in test scores across the schools. For example, he said, second graders at McLaurin scored 77 on the English Language Arts section of the test, and second graders at Frazier scored 58.

Wright asked if the curriculum at the two schools was the same, and Hill said yes. Wright said the district needed to use the test results at the end of the year to evaluate student as well as teacher performance.

Several factors, Hill said, go into evaluating the test scores. He said that all teachers are not going to be on the same lessons each day.

Hill said the district would do an analysis of what was taught, what the students were tested on and how those matched.

The district, Hill said, would also look at if a teacher taught the curriculum the best way and other factors.

“There are a lot of components out there to analyze what (could have) happened that we would have a tremendous gap between the two schools,” he said.

In other news from the meeting:

  • Business Manager Margaret Parson informed the board that the district’s transportation budget was going to be $164,000 more than the budget because an extra bus and 10 monitors were added. The extra bus was added because some students who live near the Franklin County line were not getting home until 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m.

Board member Thelma Newsome asked Parson where the money would come from to pay the extra expense.

Parson said she saw no other place to get the money other than from the district’s 16th Section funds, which she said means the fund balance will be gone in a year.

  • The board recognized Angela Anderson, Donald Ray Calvin and Ike Hargrave for their hard work as custodians for the school district.
  • The district will host a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Natchez Community Center. School officials will update the public on plans for the district and also take questions from the audience.