Test results: Huge improvement in writing skills at CHS

Test results: Huge improvement in writing skills at CHS

CUMBERLAND - A deliberate focus on writing skills lifted Cumberland High School scores on the NECAP test by a remarkable 30 points, results released last week are showing.

Success in turning around the writing portion of the test meant CHS's improvement represented one of the largest gains in the statewide testing results released a week ago.

The good news comes along with news of CHS's improvement in the math and reading test sections on the New England Common Assessment Program shared with other New England states.

Moreover, as was reported earlier, fewer juniors than last year are in graduation jeopardy over failing scores, although a full 25 percent of test-takers will be retaking the standardized statewide test as seniors.

The writing results saw juniors who were tested last October improve over last year's class from 40 percent proficiency to 70 percent, a score that puts CHS within range of the so-called top 10 schools of Rhode Island and above the state average of 66 points.

Statewide, the top writing score, 94 percent, was turned in by the Beacon Charter High School for the Arts in Woonsocket, a school dedicated to an arts and business education that serves the wider area including Cumberland.

In a statement, CHS Principal Alan Tenreiro attributed Cumberland's improvement to a "laser-like focus to improve the classroom experience for both teacher and student."

Looking at other scores, the overall district boosted scores from 78 percent to 83 percent proficient in reading since 2009.

In math, scores are up from 63 percent to 70 percent overall.

The high school alone gained 6 points since 2009 to 88 percent proficient in reading and 12 points in math to 46 percent proficient.

In Cumberland's elementary and middle schools, reading scores were nearly flat compared to last year - up or down 2 to 3 points.

Community's 91 points in reading is among the highest in the state among elementary schools.

"Being able to comprehend what you've read and learned, and then articulate your thoughts in a way that others can understand, is perhaps the best barometer we have in measuring how well we as a learning community are doing," said Tenreiro.

In math, scores were up and down - Garvin Memorial picked up 4 points, McCourt Middle lost 3 points, as did Ashton and B.F. Norton, while Cumberland Hill lost 6 points and North Cumberland Middle picked up 3.

For a complete breakdown, see www.ride.ri.gov/InstructionAssessment/Assessment/NECAPAssessment/NECAPRe... .