Manchester students in grades 3 to 5 have much to be proud of, according to results of a presentation given Wednesday night by Thomas Baxter, Manchester district curriculum director.
Baxter described students at and participating in a program which measured the growth of their individual academic performance in mathematics during the 2011-12 school year. Students in grades 3 to 5 showed advanced development in their math skills.
“IP growth stands for individual performance growth,” said Baxter. “The PowerPoint presentation showed the growth of the students in each grade level in each of the district elementary schools from October to May in Math.”
For example, no third-grade students at Ridgeway Elementary School scored between the 90th and 99th percentile on the October pre-test evaluation in math, while 21 later scored in the highest percentile on the May post-test evaluation in math.
Among Ridgeway’s fourth-graders, only five students scored between the 90th and 99th percentile on the October pre-test evaluation in math, and 31 later scored in the highest percentile on the May post-test evaluation in math.
Throughout all three elementary schools, the number of students whose math scores greatly improved far exceeded the numbers of those students whose scores remained the same or decreased.
Baxter said that the results reported in the presentation were “real data” from students that were in the classes for the whole school year, and that had all taken the same pre- and post-testing evaluations — so the evaluation process was uniform.
“The test measured student knowledge of the New Jersey Common Core Standards in math, at their grade level,” Baxter stated.
Baxter said that in September, the process will also be utilized for language arts, in addition to mathematics.
“The purpose of the program was to use the data to help the teachers drive instruction in their classrooms. The teachers can create assessments geared toward the New Jersey Common Core Standards and evaluate student progress and knowledge. Once areas of the standards are mastered, the teachers can move forward with enhanced instruction,” said Baxter.
Editor's note: The complete presentation delivered by Baxter at the meeting, showing the pre- and post-test mathematics evaluation scores for students at all three elementary schools, is available above.