This report outlines RSU 26 student achievement data from 2011-12 district and state-wide assessments. You will find Teaching Year Proficiency rates for students broken out by state, school, and RSU; SAT data for Orono High School (2008-2011); RSU26 and State AYP data (2009-2011); and a chart of “NWEA Breakdown Fall 2011 - Spring 2012.”
As part of the No Child Left Behind Act, all students in grades 3 through 8 participate in the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAPs) each fall. The NECAPs are used to assess student achievement of grade level standards in Math and Reading. Students take the NECAP assessments during the month of October and are assessed on their knowledge of the previous year's curriculum standards. So, even though students in grades 3-8 participate in the assessment, the questions on the assessments measure achievement of standards in grades 2 through 7. Students in grades 5 and 8 participate in an additional test of writing as part of the NECAP. In May, students in grades 5 and 8 also complete a science assessment through the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) program.
Maine's High School Assessment (MHSA) consists of the SAT and an additional Science assessment which are taken during the 3rd year of high school (junior year). The MHSA is taken during the spring each year. The results of spring 2012 testing have not been released by the state at this time. As such, data from 2008 through 2011 have been provided.
On the “Teaching Yr Proficiency” pages the grade level indicated on the left reflects the grade that the students were in when they took the test (October 2011). The number of students shown at each level of proficiency are the number of students who were IN THAT SCHOOL during the previous year - even if they have moved out of the district or changed schools within the district. Because adequate yearly progress (AYP) is determined based on the achievement of students educated in each school, students are 'credited back' to the school which was responsible for providing their education during the previous teaching year.
Early in the 2011-2012 school year the state of Maine applied for a waiver against the increasing proficiency rates previously established. The state was successful in their application and the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets for 2011-2012 held steady at 70% proficient for Math and 75% for Reading. In order to make AYP, each grade level and reportable subgroup within each school must either make the target proficiency or show improvement from the previous year. “Proficiency” is determined by adding together the percentage of students performing at levels 4 (Proficient w/ Distinction) and 3 (Proficient).
The page titled “RSU 26 Adequate Yearly Progress” shows the reportable subgroups down the left-hand column. Each school is judged for AYP based upon achievement of each subgroup shown. In order to count, the subgroup must consist of more than 10 students, thus many of the lines are left blank or contain an asterisk. From the table you can see that Asa did not make AYP in Math for the subgroup “Economically Disadvantaged.” When one subgroup does not make AYP, the whole school does not make AYP. You will see the terms “Safe Harbor” and “Yes (CI)” used on the chart. “Safe Harbor” indicates that the group has shown improvement from the previous year, even though the straight percentage may not meet the AYP target. “Yes (CI)” is a statistical designation indicating that the percentage of students making AYP is below the target but if the “Confidence Interval” is factored in, the group could statistically be determined to be above the target.
We have just completed our second year of NWEA testing in RSU 26. NWEAs are administered in the fall and spring in the subjects of Reading, Language Usage, Math, and Science. Teachers, Principals, Ch104 staff, Title I staff, RtI teams, and literacy coaches use the NWEA as a universal screener and another form of data to identify students for interventions. The “NWEA Breakdown Fall 2011 - Spring 2012” sheet shows the mean scores for Math and Reading by school and grade level. The gray column indicates the national mean score for fall and spring testing. Scores shown in bold (or blue if you are viewing it in color) exceeded the national norm for the testing season. More significant however is the comparison of Fall 2011 to Spring 2012. During fall testing, 15 groups were below the norm compared to only 5 groups below the norm during spring testing. Deeper analysis reveals the significant growth demonstrated by some of these groups. By easily accessing individual student data, teachers, interventionists, and IEP teams are able to set measurable goals and to determine if students are meeting those goals.
During the 2011-2012 school year, efforts to improve student achievement have focused largely on improving instructional strategies and intervention methods. Over the past two years at least 16 teachers have earned graduate credit by taking a literacy course focusing on Reading & Writing Workshop as an instructional model. Literacy Coaches have worked with teachers to hone their skills in the workshop model and to use data to target instruction. RtI teams (including Title I and Reading Recovery) have delivered tailored instruction to small groups of students based on data from various assessments. Two groups of teachers (one for ELA and one for Math) reviewed the Common Core (CCSS) standards and began to identify gaps in curriculum - a new middle school textbook was adopted as a result. The ELA group developed and presented two and a half days of PD around the new standards. During July 2012, twelve teachers from the RSU will attend a National Council of Teachers of Math (NCTM) conference focused on the CCSS and effective instructional practices. The 3-day conference will be followed up by a school-year online course and monthly meetings of the RSU team to promote carryover of the skills and concepts covered and to develop ways to share this training with other staff.
We have made many strides through the effective use of student data, the much needed increase in student contact time in many schools as a result of an increase in student day, and the pooling of human and fiscal resources throughout the RSU. As we move forward we continue to rely on student achievement data to inform decisions on curriculum and instruction. There is much expertise and innate leadership within the RSU teaching staff. With the proper support and a common purpose, teachers in RSU 26 are well positioned to continue making a positive difference in the lives of students.
To view sample questions from the October 2011 NECAPs, visit the Maine DOE website.
Download this report in its original format as it was presented to the Board of Directors.