Standardized tests show Vermont students deficient in science

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(Host) New school test results show that Vermont students are not scoring well in science.

Students in fourth, eighth and eleventh grade took science exams last spring.

The results were released today and they show that only a quarter of eighth and eleventh graders are proficient in science. Among fourth graders, 48% were proficient.

This was the first time Vermont students took the New England Common Assessment Program exam in science. Michael Hock is Educational Assessment Director for the state:

(Hock) “We know that Vermont school districts are in very different places when it comes to implementing the new standards. What sticks out to me is that that, although the overall statewide results are pretty low, we had a number of individual schools that did very well. For example at fourth grade, the results across schools ranged from 100 percent being proficient to none of the students being proficient."

(Host) There was no significant difference between the scores of boys and girls.

But Hock says the test scores of children from poor families were disappointing.

(Hock) “Unfortunately the trends on this test seem to be the same as they were on reading, mathematics and writing, that students who come from families below the poverty level did less well on the test than their counterparts whose families are above the poverty level."

(Host) Only 12% of low-income eighth and eleventh graders scored proficient or higher in science. 31% of low-income fourth graders made the grade.

Hock says the Department of Education is studying why low-income students fare better in some school districts than others – and why elementary school students performed better than their middle and high school counterparts.

For individual school results, see link below.



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