State says: MP schools effective

The latest state test results were released last week. Once again, the Madison-Plains School District has been rated “effective.”

The highest possible rating is excellent, followed by effective, continuous improvement, academic watch, and academic emergency.

Karen Muska, the district’s curriculum director, reviewed the results at the Aug. 19 school board meeting.

“We still maintained an effective rating despite AYP (adequate yearly progress) annual objectives being increased by several percentage points,” she said. The state wants all students to be proficient by 2014 and, therefore, is making the standards stricter each year until then.

Among the highlights of Madison-Plains’ results, Muska said, are good scores on the performance index and in the new value-added category.

The performance index takes into account how many students have moved into higher categories with their test scores compared to last year. Value-added measures how many fourth- through eighth-graders made at least one year’s worth of progress from one school year to the next. Madison-Plains’ value-added rating was above average.

The district met or exceeded the state standard on 18 out of 30 indicators. Twenty-eight of the indicators are test scores by grade level; the other two are attendance rate and graduation rate, which the district met.

The main trouble area for Madison-Plains was test scores in the fourth through sixth grades. With the exception of fourth-grade reading, Madison-Plains missed the state standard in all other testing areas for those grades (math, social studies and science, depending on the grade level).

In an attempt to improve students’ performances on the tests, Muska said the district has implemented new math and reading intervention programs for grades three through five this year. A similar math program was instituted at the middle school last year and test scores improved, she said.

In addition to rating a school district as a whole, the state rates each school building in a district. Those results for Madison-Plains are as follows:

• Madison-Plains High School—Met 12 of 12 indicators for an excellent rating, which matches last year’s rating.

• Madison-Plains Middle School—Met four out of 10 indicators for an effective rating, which is one step up from last year’s rating of continuous improvement.

• Madison Rural Elementary—Met three out of 10 indicators for a continuous improvement rating, which is one step down from last year’s rating of effective.

• Midway Elementary—Met four out of 10 indicators for an effective rating, which matches last year’s rating.

• Mount Sterling Elementary—Met eight out of 10 indicators for an excellent rating, which is two steps up from last year’s rating of continuous improvement.

“We’re pleased with the results this year, but we’re not satisfied. We won’t be satisfied until all our kids are up where they need to be,” said Superintendent Bernie Hall. The goal is for all buildings to achieve an excellent rating, he said.

Other news

• Hall recommended that the board approve creation of a technology coordinator position for the elementary schools and forgo a guidance counselor position for those grades. The board will vote on the matter at the next board meeting.

• Midway resident Brian Darst, a Native American, organized a powwow in the Village of Midway earlier this month. The proceeds went to the Midway Youth Association. He told the school board that from now on, he wants the powwow’s proceeds to go to the Madison-Plains School District, starting with the music department. Darst also wants to make educational presentations to Madison-Plains students in November during Native American Month.

• The board set a work session for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at Madison Rural Elementary. They will talk about school finances and employee pay scales prior to the start of the regular monthly meeting at 7 p.m.

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