News Releases

February 03, 2010

Vermont Statewide Assessment Results Released

MONTPELIER – Statewide assessment results for Fall 2009 were released by the Vermont Department of Education today at a special press conference held at U-32 Junior-Senior High School in East Montpelier. The results are from the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) exams, given to Vermont public school students in grades three through eight and 11. Students were tested in Reading and Mathematics in all seven grades, and in Writing at grade 11 only.

The following table illustrates the percent of Vermont students proficient in the content area by grade span:

Elementary/Middle School (3-8)

Reading 72 percent

Math 66 percent

Writing N/A

High School (11)

Reading 69 percent

Math 35 percent

Writing 51 percent

“These results show that we continue to improve instruction and slowly but surely see better outcomes for students,” noted Commissioner Armando Vilaseca. “Efforts to improve instruction in schools are paying off for kids. However, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure this is happening in all Vermont schools, not just the ones like U-32 that have risen to the challenge.”

U-32 was chosen as the site of the press conference because of impressive student results on the exams. U-32’s 11th graders had the highest overall performance in the state. Compared with the prior year, eleventh-grade scores increased 11 percentage points in Reading, seven in Math and 21 in Writing. Eleventh-graders closed the achievement gap between students in poverty and their peers in Writing by more than 20 percentage points. Those same students also scored above the state average in all three content areas (+5 in reading, +15 in math and +14 in writing).

“The high school NECAP results are particularly important because they reflect the cumulative effects of a decade of instruction going all the way back to elementary school,” said Michael Hock, Assessment Director for the Vermont Department of Education. “U-32 can be proud of these test results, but credit can also be shared across the entire Washington Central Supervisory Union whose students come to U-32.”

“The improvement in our NECAP scores was realized by enhancing an academic environment that encourages students to demonstrate what they have learned,” said Principal Keith Gerritt. “U-32 has had a long-standing focus on writing across the curriculum. Over the past few years, our professional development has concentrated on reviewing and understanding assessment and how teachers can use assessment results in regular classroom work.”

In preparation for NECAP this past Fall, a number of initiatives were implemented at U-32 to foster student engagement, such as consistent encouragement, assemblies, dedicated testing times, and providing test takers with food and drink during the testing. This created a supportive and effective testing environment, and proved that student engagement, especially at the high school level, is critical to true demonstration of achievement.

The NECAP exams are given in collaboration with Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. These exams are designed to specifically assess how well Vermont students have learned the skills and content contained in Vermont’s Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities. This is the fifth year of results on the NECAP exams for grades three through eight and the third year for grade 11. As required under the No Child Left Behind Act, a science assessment is given in May in grades four, eight and 11.

For the complete packet of state results, including the Power Point from today’s press conference, visit http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/dept/press_releases.html.

For school-by-school results, visit: http://www.education.vermont.gov/new/html/pgm_assessment/data.html#necap.

To view some of the actual test items from this round of assessments, visit http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/pgm_assessment/necap/resources/released_items.html#09.

Source: Department of Education
Last Updated at: February 03, 2010 09:47:44