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Test results are encouraging

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Farmington School Board members got some pretty good evidence Monday that the district's students are learning.

Results from a Northwest Evaluation Association test given to second- through ninth-grade students this spring show improvement from a similar test given in the fall that is in almost all cases better than the national norm.

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This is the second year Farmington students have taken the NWEA test. Students take math and reading tests in the fall and again in the spring. The district uses the results to identify areas where students need help and to measure progress both during the year and from year to year.

In second grade, reading scores improved from 175.3 to 190 and math scores improved from 178.1 to 192.2. Third grade reading scores improved from 191.2 to 201.5 and math scores improved from 191.7 to 205.8. Fourth grade reading scores improved from 200.3 to 208.2 and math scores improved from 204.2 to 216.6. Fifth grade reading scores improved from 207.5 to 213.6 and math scores from 212.9 to 225.7.

Sixth graders improved from 212.2 to 218.5 on the reading test and from 219.9 to 228.6 on the math test. Seventh graders improved from 217.4 to 220 on the reading test and from 226.8 to 231.6 on the math test. Eighth graders improved from 219.9 to 222.9 in reading and 229 to 232.9 in math. Ninth graders improved from 225.5 to 228.5 in reading and from 235.3 to 239 in math.

At nearly all grade levels this year Farmington students showed more improvement than the national norm. The only exceptions were in seventh grade, where Farmington students showed less improvement than the national norm on the NWEA math test, and in eighth grade, where student progress was behind the national norm on both tests. Sharon Davenport, the district's data coordinator, said those discrepancies are due to the fact students in those grades scored above national norms in the fall on both tests, leaving them less room to improve.

"When you're achieving above the national norm and showing more growth, that's fabulous," Davenport said.

School board members were also happy with the results.

"This is really exciting because you can see the results," board member Tim Weyandt said. "We're getting them ready for life and the rest of their education. This is certainly a big step in the right direction as far as I'm concerned."

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