Natchez-Adams school official reviews district test score findings

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 5, 2001

NATCHEZ – The majority of the youngest students in the Natchez-Adams School District scored proficient on last May’s Mississippi Curriculum Test but students began to slip down into the basic level in the upper grades.

Students in second- to eighth-grade took the reading, language and math components of the test to assess their knowledge of state curriculum.

The test categorized each student on minimal, basic, proficient or advanced performance levels.

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&uot;It’s just a way for people to zero in on skills deficits that somebody’s having,&uot; said Joel Guyer, testing coordinator for the Natchez-Adams School District.

The goal is for all Mississippi students to score proficient or above, Guyer said.

Although still below the state proficiency average in most areas, overall the Natchez-Adams School District’s second- to sixth-grade students scored proficient on the reading test, Guyer said.

But overall seventh- and eighth-graders scored at a basic level in reading, Guyer said.

The high performance in the lower grades reflects a recent statewide emphasis in reading, Guyer said.

&uot;I think our reading scores are excellent for the district,&uot; he said.

In the language component of the test, overall second- and third-grade students scored proficient while the older students scored on a basic level.

Math proved to be the hardest subject for the student, but this also reflects a statewide trend, Guyer said.

&uot;That’s something that we know. That’s something that’s statewide and that’s something (we’re addressing) even as we speak,&uot; he said.

Eventually districts will be required to show gains for each child from year to year based in part on the test scores, Guyer said

&uot;It makes us not only accountable at the district level like we’ve been in the past it makes us accountable at a school level, it makes us accountable at the class level, and it makes us accountable for each and every child,&uot; Guyer said.

This is necessary to make improvements in the scores and to help the students, he said.

Although the scores were not as high as district officials would have liked, Guyer said the results were &uot;not bad.&uot;