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News

Statewide test scores released: LPS well above Nebraska averages

Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) students scored well above state averages in the Nebraska-wide reading and math test results released Monday (August 29).

“Lincoln students at all grades performed better in mathematics than the average for students across the state,” according to Marilyn Moore, associate superintendent for Instruction at LPS.  “Lincoln students at all grades – except for grade 11 – performed better in reading than the average for students across the state.”

The test was administered in Nebraska public schools last spring to 150,000 students in grades 3 through 8, and grade 11.  At LPS, the reading test was administered online, while students taking the math test used paper and pencil.  The Nebraska State Accountability (NeSA) reading and math exams are based on the state standards for reading and math, and will be used for state and federal reporting this school year.

For each grade level, percentages are reported in three categories:  Below Standards, Meeting Standards and Exceeds Standards.

This is the second year Nebraska students have taken the NeSA reading exam, and the first year they have take the NeSA math exam. 

Roger Breed, commissioner of Education in Nebraska, officially announced the release of the scores at a press conference Monday morning. “The overall purpose of these scores is to provide schools, our community and parents with usable, meaningful information about how our students are doing.  This is shining the light of data on the issue of student performance.” 

He said schools are encouraged to use this data to study and identify how curriculum can be better matched to state standards, and where schools need to identify better instructional strategies.  “The history of our teachers and schools is that they take this data and they immediately go to work.”

Moore pointed out that LPS students improved in reading scores from last year in every grade level except grade 11.  She specifically pointed to dramatic improvement in reading at several schools including Belmont and Elliott elementary schools, both Title 1 schools, “an indication that focused teaching can overcome demographics.”

She explained that LPS uses these tests – in the big picture – to see how the school district compares to other districts in the state.  “Then our curriculum specialists will drill down with deeper analysis to look at specific areas, and where we need more work.” 

Moore said she does not believe the grade 11 NeSA scores reflect the real reading skills of LPS students. “I would point to the ACT scores where our students score much better. Motivation becomes a key factor with these tests, because they have no real personal impact in a student’s life, and by high school our students have figured that out.” 

But Moore pointed out several reasons why the NeSA tests are important. 

“First, and most importantly, it’s a test of standards that describe what we want our students to know and be able to do,” she said.  “Yes, they’re state standards, but they’re also our standards.  It’s what we teach, it’s what we assess on an on-going basis to learn how students are doing and what we need to do in order to help them be more successful.”

Second, she said, “we want our students to be capable, and to be able to demonstrate their competence.  It’s important for students to know that there are opportunities they have to demonstrate their best work, and this is one of them.”

Third, Moore explained, the community expects students to be capable and competent.  “These exams are one more measure of student achievement, one more opportunity for members of the community to be assured that LPS students are indeed students who achieve well.” 

Finally, she said, “successful student performance affirms the community’s value of and trust in the community’s schools.  It’s a message we send to the persons who support us with their votes, their taxes, their letters to the editor, their volunteer hours, their trust that we will do right by their children—the most valuable trust of all.”

Parents will receive a report on their child’s scores from their local schools. For more information go to: www.education.ne.gov

For more information contact Marilyn Moore, 436-1625

Overall NeSA results for LPS: 

Third grade reading results:

Exceeds Standards:               LPS, 24 percent – State average, 15 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 58 percent – State average, 56 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 18 percent – State average, 29  percent

 

Third grade math results:

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 30 percent – State average, 17 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 52 percent – State average, 50 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 19 percent – State average, 33 percent

 

Fourth grade reading results:

Exceeds Standards:               LPS, 37 percent – State average, 25 percent

Meets Standards:                   LPS, 48 percent – State average, 51 percent

Below Standards:                   LPS, 16 percent – State average, 25 percent

 

Fourth grade math results: 

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 29 percent – State average, 16 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 53 percent – State average, 52 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 18 percent – State average, 32 percent

 

Fifth grade reading results

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 34 percent – State average, 24 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 46 percent – State average, 46 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 20  percent – State average, 30 percent

 

Fifth grade math results: 

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 31 percent – State average, 18 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 49 percent – State average, 48 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 20 percent – State average, 34 percent

 

Sixth grade reading results:

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 31 percent – State average, 26 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 46 percent – State average, 48 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 23 percent – State average, 26 percent

 

 

 

Sixth grade math results:

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 27 percent – State average, 18 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 44 percent – State average, 44 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 29 percent – State average, 37 percent

 

Seventh grade reading results:

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 32 percent – State average, 27 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 46 percent – State average, 47 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 22 percent – State average, 26 percent

 

Seventh grade math results:

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 24 percent – State average, 16 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 44 percent – State average, 45 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 31 percent – State average, 39 percent

 

Eighth grade reading results:

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 25 percent – State average, 22 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 50 percent – State average, 49 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 25 percent – State average, 29 percent

 

Eighth grade math results:

Exceeds Standards:             LPS, 22 percent – State average, 16 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 45 percent – State average, 44 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 33 percent – State average, 40 percent

 

Eleventh grade reading results:

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 23 percent – State average, 24 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 43 percent – State average, 43 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 34 percent – State average, 33 percent

 

Eleventh grade math results:

Exceeds Standards:              LPS, 25 percent – State average, 21 percent

Meets Standards:                  LPS, 32 percent – State average, 32 percent

Below Standards:                 LPS, 43 percent – State average, 46 percent

 

Additional information about these exams will be released in October as part of the State of the Schools Report.


Published: August 29, 2011, Updated: August 29, 2011