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More than half of Alaska students fell short of standards

September 6, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — More than half of Alaska public school students failed to meet grade-level standards in English language arts, math and science this year — but the results improved slightly from the prior year, according to state standardized testing results.

Students in grades three through nine took the Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools in math and English while students in grades four, eight and 10 took the Alaska Science Assessment, the Anchorage Daily News reported . It’s the second year for both standardized tests.

Meeting grade-level standards, 42.4 percent of students had proficient or higher scores in English language arts, according to the results released by the state Wednesday. Last year, 39 percent of students met the academic standards for the subject.

On the math test, 36.7 percent of students scored proficient or better, increasing from the 33.9 percent last year. On the science test, 47.1 percent met or exceeded the state standard, rising from the 46.5 percent in 2017.

This year’s results showed incremental growth compared to the previous year, Alaska Education Commissioner Michael Johnson said.

“Obviously we have a long way to go,” Johnson said. “We’re not spiking the football and claiming victory.”

The tests are not the only measure of how schools and districts are performing, said Deborah Riddle, deputy director for student learning at the state Department of Education and Early Development. The test scores do not affect students’ classwork grades or placement in school, and also do not affect teacher evaluations, she said.

“It’s a way to see how we’re doing and make adjustments,” Riddle said.

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Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com

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