Farmington Test Scores Comparable Across The Region
STUDENTS BREAK AP RECORDS
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.”