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Marion Test Scores Show Optimistic Growth




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MARION COUNTY - Florida’s Department of Education released state test scores today, and Marion County’s numbers look optimistic, including some areas that improved significantly. 


Of the 21 subjects and grade level areas tested, Marion students either maintained or improved their proficiency levels in 13.


Some scores dipped slightly but across the board, more Marion students increased their proficiency levels than decreased. 


Comparing last year’s third graders who are this year’s fourth graders, also referred to as cohorts, proficiency results for English Language Arts (ELA) show:

  • 4th grade +3
  • 5th grade +2
  • 6th grade -1
  • 7th grade +2
  • 8th grade +7
  • 9th grade +1
  • 10th grade (no change)


For math, cohort proficiency results show:

  • 4th grade +6
  • 5th grade -2
  • 6th grade -4
  • 7th grade +7
  • 8th grade -8


Comparisons of year-to-year performance, for example, this year’s third graders compared to last year’s third graders, are not most accurate because every student group is unique and learns differently.  However, even these scores look promising for Marion this year.  For English Language Arts:

  • 3rd grade -2 (previously released) 
  • 4th grade +6
  • 5th grade -1
  • 6th  grade +1
  • 7th grade +3
  • 8th grade +1
  • 9th grade +4
  • 10th grade (no change)


Using similar year-to-year comparison, math results show mixed results:  

  • 3rd grade +1 (previously released)
  • 4th grade +7
  • 5th grade -5
  • 6th grade +4
  • 7th grade (no change)
  • 8th grade -2
  • Algebra -3
  • Geometry -3


While individual school results vary, some points to consider include:


  • For Belleview-Santos Elementary, initial results show improvement in both ELA and math for fourth and fifth grade levels, including a 23-point jump in fourth grade math.
  • For Dunnellon Elementary, fourth grade scores are up 10 points in ELA and one point in math. Fifth grade scores dropped eight points in ELA and 13 in math. 
  • At Evergreen Elementary, which is under the direction of an external operator, fifth grade math jumped 14 points; all other grade levels lost ground in both EA and math. 
  • At Oakcrest Elementary, results are mixed across the board.  Learning gains may keep this school from going under the control of an external operator for the new school year. 
  • Finally, at Reddick-Collier Elementary, four testing areas improved proficiency while two dropped. Of significance is an 18-point jump in fifth grade ELA and an 11-point increase in fourth grade math. Third grade math jumped 36 points to 64 percent.  Fourth grade ELA and fifth grade math both went down four points each. 


In science, Marion fifth graders dropped five points while eighth graders dropped two.  Biology increased three points, Civics increased one point, and US History also inched up one point. 


Overall, these results show improvement in a majority of categories tested, more students are proficient in more areas, and school leaders are now delving into the results to discover what worked best to improve academics.  


School grades will be impacted by these scores.  Learning gains, of which Marion students are expected to have demonstrated significantly, will also weigh in heavily when it comes to what letter grade each school receives.  These grades are expected in mid-July. 


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