Test shows students excelling in English

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 20, 2015

Revised results from the Alabama Department of Education shows that the majority of local 10th graders is meeting or exceeding standards in English, but only a small percentage is doing so in math and science.

The state released revised results from the ACT Plan that was taken during the fall.

Statewide in English, 61.6 percent of students met or exceeded standards.

That number is 10 percentage points higher than the original results released by the department.

The new math results increased by 2 percentage points to 19.6 percent of students meeting or exceeding set standards.

This ACT Plan is the new measuring tool adopted when the state adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative, where are designed to be more rigorous than old standards.

Locally, 57.74 percent of Andalusia High School 10th graders met or exceeded the English standards; 22.68 met or exceeded the math standards; and 32.99 met or exceeded the science standards.

Andalusia City Schools Superintendent Ted Watson said initially schools were told that numbers were not going to be released.

“This was supposed to be established as a benchmark year,” he said. “We were to just go in and teach the curriculum and go by the standards. This was the first year with the new test, and relatively new standards. We are going to be held accountable from this test. “

Watson said that administrators and teachers certainly realize there is room for improvement.

“We always want to improve no matter what area it is in,” he said.

Pleasant Home had the highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding the English standards with 68.89 percent, while 17.78 percent met or exceeded the math and 13.33 met or exceeded in science.

Florala High School had the second highest percentage of students meeting or exceeding the English standards with 68.87 percent, but had just 17.14 percent meeting or exceeding the standards in math and science.

Red Level had 61.70 percent of students, who met or exceeded goals in English; 17.02 percent in math; and 8.52 percent in science.

Straughn had 62.86 percent who met or exceeded in English; 20 percent in math; and 20.95 in science.

Covington County Schools Superintendent Shannon Driver said it was the first year for the test.

“This is our first time dealing with this test,” he said. “We just started the new standards. It was kind of expected. Statewide it was expected that the scores would be lower. While we would have hoped it would have been higher, we got a good, clear picture of where we are going. We have already begun to meet and discuss. Our people will meet the challenge as always.”

At Opp, 48.75 percent students met or exceeded in English; 11.25 percent met or exceeded in math; and 11.25 percent met or exceeded in science.

Opp City Schools Superintendent Michael Smithart said his system has taken this test for a number of years now.

“I believe we are showing improvement because of the commitment we have made to increasing the rigor in our classrooms, and the professional development our teachers have received to the new standards,” he said. “Our scores show in increase in all subtests over last year. The English scores slightly lower that the math and science but still an increase over last year.”