Thursday, September 26, 2013

Science exam results mixed in Monadnock Region schools


Local scores from May’s state science exam were a mixed bag, with some districts improving and others seeing their scores drop.
The results of the New England Common Assessment Program’s 2013 science test were released last week.
The test quizzes students in 4th, 8th and 11th grades on earth and space science, physical science, life science and inquiry, or scientific thinking. Unlike the reading and math assessment tests, which are taken in October, the science test is given to students in May.
State scores dropped slightly in 2013, the sixth year the of the science portion of NECAP testing. The percentage of 11th-graders across the state who scored proficient or better dropped from 33 percent to 30 percent. Fifty-one percent of 4th-graders reached the proficient benchmark, compared with 53 percent last year, and the 8th-grade results held steady, with just over 31 percent of students scoring proficient or better.
Locally, the results were more varied.
Symonds School in Keene saw one of the biggest jumps, with the percentage of proficient 4th-graders rising from 57 percent to 75 percent. That increase helped pull up the district's overall elementary science scores from 54 percent to 59 percent proficient, despite little, if any, growth at the district's four other elementary schools.
Eighth-graders in Keene improved from 26 percent to 32 percent proficient.
But many districts in the Monadnock Region didn't see much, if any, improvement. The percentage of proficient 4th-graders fell in the Conval, Monadnock, Fall Mountain and Winchester districts. Eighth-grade scores fell in Hinsdale, Fall Mountain and Winchester.
The NECAP scores are based on four levels: proficient with distinction, proficient, partially proficient and substantially below proficient. Most area districts didn't have any students score in the proficient with distinction category.
At Hinsdale High School, the percentage of proficient juniors dropped significantly two years in a row. In 2010-11, 46 percent met the mark. That number fell to 35 percent in 2011-12 and then to 19 percent last year.
Hinsdale Superintendent David A. Crisafulli said the district knows it didn't perform well in science, but staff members are just starting to delve into the data to see exactly where students underperformed and where teachers should focus their efforts.
Part of improving will probably mean reminding the high schoolers that while the scores don't affect their transcripts or graduation credits, they do reflect on the school, and so the tests should be taken seriously, Crisafulli said.
Scores also dropped at Fall Mountain Regional High School, from 41 percent proficient or better last year to 31 percent this year.
The other four high schools in the Monadnock Region saw improvements:
* At Conant High School, 35 percent scored proficient or better, compared with 22 percent last year.
* At Conval Regional High School, 34 scored proficient or better, up from 25 percent last year.
* At Monadnock Regional High School, 29 scored proficient, up from 28 percent proficient last year.
* At Keene High School, 38 percent of juniors scored proficient or better, compared with 35 percent last year.
The science NECAP scores come at a time of much change for standardized testing in New Hampshire. Districts are in the process of updating curriculum to meet new grade-level standards called the Common Core State Standards, and as a result the NECAP tests will be replaced by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Test. That test begins in spring 2015.

* For the full results and scores from individual schools, go to


Anonymous said...

Not true. Scores went up across the board on regular NECAPS for.the Winchester kids. And if you didn't read the whole article the tests are becoming obsolete because really don't mean anything the long run.

Anonymous said...

"The percentage of proficient 4th-graders fell in the Conval, Monadnock, Fall Mountain and Winchester districts. Eighth-grade scores fell in Hinsdale, Fall Mountain and Winchester."

You must be some kind of an idiot not to understand that when it says scores FELL, that means they didn't go up, they went down, meaning our kids scored worse than last year. maybe you should go back to school and learn to understand what you're reading. This whole region has issues and it's NOT OUR KIDS fault.

Anonymous said...

We should not compare different groups of students. We should look at the 8th graders scores from 4th grade and see if they went up or down since then. It is like comparing apples to oranges when you compare last years 4th and 8th graders to this year's 4th and 8th graders.
And what is wrong with the test when only 30 something % of students in the state score proficient.

Just my Opinion said...

What's wrong with the test? You say! NO! What is wrong with the lazy inapt unqualified, incompetent, inept, incapable, inadequate, ineligible, inexpert, hopeless, untrained fat-cat union teachers. Let's change the test so the children can meet the standards, it will be easier.
Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Anonymous said...

For some ignorance(lack of knowledge and information) is bliss. If you took the time to look at all of the test scores(all grades Math and Reading) you would see that most of the score went up.

Also the break down of Levels is important. Level three is proficient and level four is proficient with distinction. In many cases through out the other grades the Level four increased.

We also many times score higher than the state average. Is there more work to be done with our kids and the way they learn? Yes.

In this day and age there needs to be more physical action taken. We all complain about the kids these days and their computers and video games. We are no better when we rely on what is printed on a blog to form our opinion.

A blog like this one is great for discussion but it is not a means for action. Posting does not change the world...action does. Volunteer.

Take a chance to go to the school and see if you can share some knowledge with the staff or the students. How about all the clubs in town that try to be a positive influence on our youth. Sportsmans Club, 4H, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and the ELMM.

Complain about what you want but if you are not getting off your keyboard and doing something you are no better than anyone else. Your words mean nothing without actions. And I mean that with no disrespect.

Just my opinion! said...

It is nothing more than a numbers game played by the fat-cat union teachers. The kids are graduating not even being able to do simple things like "tell time". You take a clock with hands they are lost. The kids come out of school lacking the ability to do things that take common sense. Yes I spent a lot of time setting across from you "the so called educators". I am not impressed.....

Anonymous said...

Fat cat union ? Who talks like that? Thank you 10:02 for making sense and being reasonable unlike those that just like to complain and do NOTHiNG!

Anonymous said...

The New York Times has described fat cats as symbols of "a deeply corrupt campaign finance system (teacher's lobby) riddled with loopholes", with Americans seeing them as recipients of the "perks of power", but able to "buy access, influence policy."[2]A 1972 book by sociologist G. William Domhoff, titled Fat Cats and Democrats, contrasted the Democratic Party's perceived populism with its funding structure.(teacher's union) In Domhoff's view, "Short of a nationwide system of public financing for candidates ... it seems likely that wealthy fat cats will find one way or another to finance the candidates of their choice." AKA FAT CATS

Anonymous said...

I am wondering what would happen to the scores if they scored special ed kids separate from those students who are not special ed. With such a high percentage of our students falling in the special ed category we really can't tell what the score is. Most of the special ed status is a result of learning disabilities and anxiety caused by home situations which originated before these kids went to school. When we compare how are town is doing to other towns it is like comparing apples to oranges.

Anonymous said...

So according to your thinking Winchester scores aren't a true reflection of how our kids are doing because the grades of special education children are included; is that right, is that what you are saying? If that is the case, don't you think it would be the same for all of the schools mentioned if indeed these children also take the same tests? I doubt very seriously you know what you are talking about and doubt this is true.

Anonymous said...

October 6, 2013 at 5:09 PM
Is right on the money with their comment.
It is a fact Winchester is a poverty town,
It is a fact Winchester is a border town.
It is a fact we have more than our share of low income housing and subsidized housing compared to other local towns.
It is a fact we have a higher % of special needs students compared to other local schools.

So it totally makes sense our scores could be lower because of these facts.

Anonymous said...

October 7, 2013 at 8:11 AM
I totally agree. My daughter is brilliant, as are so many other students at this school. They are so smart that they know what the test scores are and ask the same questions as October 6, 2013 at 5:09 PM.

Anonymous said...

It's always the blame game in this town, no one takes responsibility for anything they do from our glorious board of selectboobs to the teachers at the school. It is always someone or something's fault. It's a given fact that not only have science scores gone down but reading writing and arithmetic as well. There is most definitely something wrong with a system that projects failure as the norm and rewards the group responsible with monetary compensation year after year. As a whole the United States is now ranked about 50th in the world in education yet we spend 10 times more than most other countries do. Do the math, there's something wrong not only here in Winchester., so it doesn't matter how smart your kid is, it's the ones who are doing the teaching and a failed system that is the problem.issue

Anonymous said...

Todays sentinel 11/15, Winchester Principal retiring.