Assessment scores improved locally

USD 257 Board of Education members will learn tonight students at all but one grade level improved their reading scores on Kansas assessment tests taken this school year. Math scores also were higher, with improvement again at all but one grade level.
Scores of Iola High School juniors improved to 85 percent proficient, from 84 percent a year ago, in reading and jumped significantly in math, from 52 percent to 77 percent.
Overall reading proficiency in the district was 85 percent compared to 82 percent a year ago and 83 percent in math compared to 70 percent.
The improvements were made because of concentrated efforts in the middle and high schools to help students who were falling behind. Before- and after-school tutoring programs were installed and instructors got together regularly to tweak course offerings and how lessons were presented in the classroom.
It was solutions modeled on the grease and squeaky wheel approach that paid off with better test scores. Instructors and administrators attacked the problems and found ways to im-prove performances.
Advantage to students is that higher scores indicate more of them are better versed in the disciplines, which will permit them to fare better in the classroom and eventually in whatever professions they pursue.
Tests are in place as quantitative measures of knowledge. The next shoe to fall is to identify weaknesses and help students overcome them, just as has occurred in USD 257.

— Bob Johnson