Natchez-Adams School District test scores show improvement

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NATCHEZ — Students in Natchez-Adams schools performed better than they did last year in 13 of 17 categories on the 2011-2012 state tests.

Scores from the Mississippi Curriculum Test 2, Subject Area Testing program and fifth- and eighth-grade science test were released today to the public.

The MCT2 is given to students in grades three through eight in language arts and mathematics.

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All Natchez-Adams school students, except those in seventh grade, scored higher on the MCT2 this year compared to last year.

High school students are assessed with the SATP on four content areas — Algebra I, Biology I, English II (both multiple choice and writing assessments) and U.S. history. Students must earn a passing score on each test to be eligible for graduation.

Natchez High School students scored higher on the Algebra I and Biology I test compared to last year, but scored lower on the English II assessment. The results for the U.S. history are not available because the test was new this year.

Natchez-Adams fifth-grade students scored higher on the science test compared to last year, but eighth-grade students scored lower.

Superintendent Frederick Hill said the increase in scores compared to last year is a good sign, but also said he hopes to hold the district to a higher standard next year.

“We still have a lot of improvements to make,” Hill said. “What we’ll be looking for next year are higher scores across the district and also to see growth from each student as they progress from each grade.”

Hill said he will use the quality of distribution index rating, which is a representation of the distribution of student scores across the various statewide assessment instruments, to evaluate the district’s growth.

A QDI score is represented on a scale of zero to 300, with higher numbers showing a better rating.

NASD received a 124 QDI rating for this year’s test scores and Hill said he is setting a goal of reaching a 166 QDI rating for next year’s test scores.

“If we can make that jump, we’ll be categorized as a high performing district,” Hill said. “I’ve seen schools and districts do it in one year, so it’s possible.

“We just have to have the right mindset and make sure our curriculum matches what’s being tested.”

The Natchez Democrat will publish more information on the scores, including plans for improvement and comparisons to the state average after Hurricane Isaac passes through the area.