Archive for Thursday, January 21, 2010

Workshop aims for higher scores

January 21, 2010

Four Basehor-Linwood educators recently devoted a day to exploring methods for improving the test scores of students in USD 458.

Basehor-Linwood High School teachers Becky Matthews, Emily Snyder and Jarred Fuhrman, along with high school principal Sherry Reeves, joined 14 other Kansas administrators and teachers at an Emporia State University workshop Jan. 12 to learn how to improve their students’ achievement as measured by state assessments.

The workshop, called Red White and Blue Data Analysis, was organized by the Jones Institute for Educational Excellence at Emporia State and was designed to help educators analyze assessment scores using a color coding system and develop a plan for meeting Adequate Yearly Progress each year.

Matthews said the day proved insightful for her.

“We found simpler ways of breaking down students who fall in different categories based on a variety of demographic factors or based on academic achievement,” Matthews said.

In Red White and Blue Data Analysis, educators dug past the numbers to see specific areas where students could become more proficient, Matthews said.

“Rather than looking at overall assessment results, we can now provide staff with a more specific picture of exactly which indicators are troublesome for which groups of students, and hopefully work together to design and implement some new strategies to help all students become successful,” she said.

The session also hit a positive note with Reeves, who said it honed in on some key No Child Left Behind legislation requirements.

“The purpose of the workshop was to provide a systematic process to identify areas that need focused attention. Included in each plan are strategies to target student demographics, attendance and academic achievement,” Reeves said.

Reeves said Basehor-Linwood students continually achieved high scores on state tests, but the workshop was one more way to ensure their success.

“Our students have performed extremely well on both the reading and mathematics state assessments, and through the school improvement process, we are confident that our students will continue to be highly successful.”


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