Farm­ing­ton Test Scores Com­pa­ra­ble Across The Re­gion

STU­DENTS BREAK AP RECORDS

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kut­ter

FARM­ING­TON — Farm­ing­ton stu­dents tested well in spring 2017 on state man­dated tests, and staff and stu­dents should be proud of how test scores com­pared with other schools in North­west Arkansas, Stephanie Pinker­ton, as­sis­tant su­per­in­ten­dent of schools, re­ported at the Farm­ing­ton School Board meet­ing last week.

Pinker­ton gave re­sults of test scores for first-11th grades, as well as re­sults from Ad­vanced Place­ment tests taken by high school stu­dents last spring.

“We have a lot to cel­e­brate with our test scores,” Pinker­ton said to the board, meet­ing in the cafe­te­ria at the new high school build­ing.

Re­gion­ally, Farm­ing­ton com­pared well, Pinker­ton said, not­ing North­west Arkansas is the most com­pet­i­tive area in the state

for test scores.

First- and sec­ond-grade stu­dents took the IOWA Test of Ba­sic Skills last spring in vo­cab­u­lary, read­ing lan­guage, math and com­pu­ta­tion. First-grade stu­dents ranked fifth in the re­gion for their over­all test scores with 60 per­cent of the stu­dents meet­ing or ex­ceed­ing goals.

Farm­ing­ton sec­ond-graders ranked fourth in the re­gion on the IOWA tests. Of the stu­dents, 66 per­cent scored high enough to meet or ex­ceed goals.

Test­ing for kinder­garten-sec­ond grades will change this year from the IOWA test to an on­line as­sess­ment, Pinker­ton said. Stu­dents will take tests three times dur­ing the year to de­ter­mine how they are un­der­stand­ing con­cepts in read­ing, vo­cab­u­lary and other re­quired sub­jects.

For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive year, stu­dents in third-10th grades took the ACT As­pire test.

Farm­ing­ton third-graders, for ex­am­ple, were in the top five re­gion­ally for all ar­eas, ex­cept writ­ing. For English, 78.2 per­cent of the stu­dents met or ex­ceeded the goal. For read­ing, 45.2 per­cent met or ex­ceeded the goal and in math, 70.4 per­cent met or ex­ceeded the goal. Scores on the writ­ing tests were down for most schools. Farm­ing­ton only had 18.6 per­cent of its third-graders score high enough to meet or ex­ceed the goals.

Pinker­ton said scores for older stu­dents show how the dis­trict’s strate­gic plan to align cur­ricu­lum through­out the grades is mak­ing a dif­fer­ence. Teach­ers are meet­ing with their coun­ter­parts in other build­ings to make sure stu­dents are learn­ing what they need to know be­fore mov­ing on to the next grade.

To show this progress, her re­port pro­vides the scores of how a grade did the year be­fore to show if test scores im­proved. In sixth grade, for ex­am­ple, av­er­age scores for all ar­eas - English, read­ing, writ­ing, sci­ence and math — in­creased in each sub­ject area from when these stu­dents tested in fifth grade to their sixth-grade scores.

In most cases, the schools are meet­ing their pro­gres­sive goals, Pinker­ton said.

Sixth-graders ranked in fifth place re­gion­ally with 80.1 per­cent meet­ing or ex­ceed­ing goals in English and ranked in sec­ond place be­hind Bentonville for read­ing scores. Stu­dents were in fifth place for math with 74.6 per­cent and in third place with 59.1 per­cent for sci­ence.

Eleventh-graders now take the ACT as their state man­dated test and for 2017, Farm­ing­ton’s av­er­age com­pos­ite score was 19.8 for English, 19.8 for read­ing, 19.4 for math and 19.9 for sci­ence. Bentonville High School had the high­est ACT av­er­age score for the re­gion but Farm­ing­ton fell within the top five or six in each sub­ject.

The high school’s Ad­vanced Place­ment scores con­tinue to in­crease and im­prove. Stu­dents set records in 2016, and then broke records in 2017.

The school set a record for pass per­cent­age. Of the stu­dents who took tests, 49.8 per­cent passed their AP ex­ams with a 3, 4 or 5. The pass rate for 2016 was 44.9 per­cent. The school also had its low­est num­ber of “1” scores in his­tory, 13.15 per­cent.

Other records for AP ex­ams were high­est English lan­guage scores in school his­tory, with 81.3 per­cent pass­ing their English lan­guage ex­ams, and the high­est chem­istry scores in school his­tory with a 57.1 per­cent pass rate.

Of the stu­dents tak­ing the Cal­cu­lus BC exam, 100 per­cent re­ceived credit for Cal­cu­lus AB and 88.9 per­cent re­ceived credit for Cal­cu­lus BC.

Su­per­in­ten­dent Bryan Law, like Pinker­ton, also said he was proud of the school’s test scores. While there are ar­eas that need im­prove­ment, “all in all, we’re very proud,” Law said.

He noted that Farm­ing­ton is more con­cerned with how it com­pares re­gion­ally, not so much with the state av­er­age for test scores.

“When you com­pete in this re­gion, you are com­pet­ing in the high­est re­gion in the state,” Law said.

He added that the high school’s AP scores were out­stand­ing and he would be will­ing to put those classes “up against any­one in the state.”

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