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Students fare well on NWEA exam

Farmington School Board members got some good news Monday on the growth of students during the school year that just ended.

Results of the spring Northwest Education Association test showed good progress for students from the fall administration of the test.

The district gives the NWEA gives the test to students in second through ninth grades in the spring and the fall and uses the results to demonstrate how students have learned during the year and to find areas where improvement is needed. Students take the tests on computers and the difficulty adjusts so students who do well get harder questions and students who do poorly get easier questions until all students get about half of the questions right.

On the spring reading test all students scored above the national norm for their grade levels. Students from fifth grade up scored above the national norm for the next grade level up. On the math test, students fifth grade and older scored above the national norm for students two grade levels above them.

"We're getting more and more students scoring on the high end," said Sharon Davenport, the district's data coordinator.

District 192 students showed good growth in many areas. Farmington second- and third graders scored below the national norm on the fall administration of the test.

Students also did a good job hitting their growth goals, for the most part. On the reading test only second, fourth and ninth graders had a smaller percentage meet goals than did in 2008-09. On the math test only eighth graders showed less growth than students a year ago.

"We see some real strong improvement at every grade level," Davenport said.

Monday's presentation was just the start for the district's use of the NWEA data. Assistant superintendent Christine Weymouth said the district will break the results down along a number of demographic lines to judge student performance. She also plans to meet with teachers to talk about how to use the information to improve student performance for future years.

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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