Farmington test scores show improvement

Assessment scores above national norm in all grades for reading and math

Farmington students in second through 10th grade performed above the national norm at all levels in both reading and math on the NWEA MAP tests taken this past school year.

This chart shows the average percentile rank of NWEA MAP test scores for Farmington students in spring 2013. (Graphic submitted)

This chart shows the average percentile rank of NWEA MAP test scores for Farmington students in spring 2013. (Graphic submitted)

Scores seemed to steadily increase from previous years with the exception of middle school levels due to test changes, said Sharon Davenport, district assessment data coordinator.

“The test was criticized for not having enough high-level questions,” she said at the June 24 school board meeting.

The test is now adaptive with harder questions, so when students answer a question correctly, a harder question is administered next, but a struggling student who answers wrong will get an easier question.

At many grade levels, Farmington students also had average achievement that is higher than the next grade nationally.

The district has tracked the seven-year progress of Farmington classes that shows steady growth and development above the national average. (Graphic submitted)

The district has tracked the seven-year progress of Farmington classes that shows steady growth and development above the national average. (Graphic submitted)

The district has also tracked data of students in a grade as they change over time.

“As our kids progress they get above the national norm,” Davenport said. The collective improvement of the age groups also generally charted higher than the previous class, Davenport said.

While the average numbers are above the national averages, Davenport said the spread of the class is across the board with some students much lower than grade level compared to their high-achieving peers.

“This is normal,” she said. “This is happening in every classroom. … We can’t teach to the middle.”

The district is pushing a more customized learning approach with its innovation zone designation and iPad in every student’s hand.

The scores help teachers “identify needs and customize learning to each one in the group,” Davenport said.

Overall, Davenport still sees room for progress.

More students are taking the ACT in Farmington than in years past, indicating more are considering college. The average scores the past five years fall below the state average but remains above the national average. (Graphic submitted)

More students are taking the ACT in Farmington than in years past, indicating more are considering college. The average scores the past five years fall below the state average but remains above the national average. (Graphic submitted)

In terms of college readiness, the district has seen participation in ACT tests, Advanced Placement and college in the school courses “dramatically increase” in the past few years. More than 60 percent of students now take the ACT test, which indicates students are considering college more. The board has asked Farmington High School Principal Ben Kusch to come back at a later board meeting with a presentation about college preparedness and courses offered.

MCA, Advanced Placement and college placement test scores will be available later this summer. A complete report of the scores is available on the district website.

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