Elementary, middle school students improve PASS exam performance
Derik Vanderford Staff Writer
UNION COUNTY — During the meeting of the Union County Board of School Trustees, Tabitha Talley, Coordinator of Instruction presented board members with the 2013 PASS results.
The PASS (Palmetto Assessment of State Standards) test was first administered in 2009, replacing the PACT (Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test) as the measurement for state and federal accountability among elementary and middle schools in South Carolina.
Last May, students in grades 3-8 took the state test in ELA reading and research, mathematics, science, and social studies. Students in grades 5 and 8 also took the state writing test in March.
PASS results are separated into three categories — exemplary, meaning the student demonstrated exemplary performance in meeting the grade-level standard; met, meaning the student met grade-level standard; and not met, meaning the student did not meet grade-level standard. Students who scored met and exemplary were included in calculations for passing.
Talley said the percentage of students passing English/Language Arts increased in 5th and 6th grades, with 6th grade achieving gains across all three middle schools. Mathematics scores increased in 5th, 6th and 8th grades. The percentage of students scoring exemplary increased in 3rd grade Science and Social Studies, 4th grade Science, Fifth grade Social Studies, 6th grade ELA, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies, and 8th grade Math and Science. Third grade had the highest percentage of students scoring at the exemplary level in a subject — 45.1 percent for English language arts — 40.5 percent of eighth graders scored exemplary in social studies. Fourth grade recorded the smallest percentage of exemplary scores in a subject with 9.2 percent in science.
“As you can see from our test results report, we have a lot to celebrate and areas that we will continue to work on,” Talley said.
Talley said the district will take the data and develop plans for assistance with student growth, and the 2012-2013 PASS results highlighted areas on which greater emphasis will be placed.
“Our students and teachers are hard at work covering South Carolina and common core standards this year,” Talley said. “A major focus is preparing our students to be college and career ready. The change of standards has been hard work, but it has been refreshing. I know we are headed in the right direction, and that is evident in any of our schools. As with any assessment, you obviously do not get to see the whole picture. We are challenging our students every day, and the results will be evident.”
Individual PASS student reports were distributed at each elementary and middle school. Parents who have questions should contact their student’s guidance counselor.
Monday’s meeting also included a presentation from Director of Secondary Education Cindy Langley regarding 10-day enrollment numbers. Langley said 10-day enrollment for the 2013-2014 school year decreased by 107 students, compared to 2012-2013. There are 44 fewer students in grades K-5, 39 fewer students in grades 6-8, and 24 fewer students in grades 9-12.
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