Mixed results on student test scores

There were some gains, some setbacks and some stagnant scores hidden among the numbers of the recent Iowa Assessment standardized test results for the Marshalltown Community School District.

Susan Pecinovsky, associate superintendent in the district, shared the results with the school board this week. The Iowa Assessment is formerly known as the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and Iowa Test of Educational Development.

The biggest gains were made in proficiency in fourth grade reading and eighth grade mathematics.

Fourth grade reading went from 55 percent proficient to 60 percent proficient. Eighth grade math scores went from a 56.3 percent proficiency rate to 65.8.

“That was cause for celebration,” Pecinovsky said.

Test scores slipped a bit in 11th grade mathematics as they went from a 75.2 proficiency rate to 73.6 proficiency rate.

“Those are areas we want to look into more deeply,” Pecinovsky said.

When they looked at some of the gains made in the highest-achieving students category, Pecinovsky noticed many English Language Learners in the group.

“So that thrills me to see that,” she said.

Superintendent Marvin Wade tempered the excitement level overall as he knows the school district still has work to do.

“(There’s) data that’s a concern to us that we know we have to address, so we want to balance that,” Wade said.

Board member Jason Jablonski asked Pecinovsky to come back and talk to the board at a later date about their plan to use this data to benefit the district in the future.