Ponaganset NECAPs 'trending positive' says superintendent

Ponaganset NECAPs 'trending positive' says superintendent

GLOCESTER - When Supt. Michael Barnes checks the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) scores of his Ponaganset students, what he looks for are "trends that we can track over several years."

So he is pleased with scores that over six years are "trending to the positive" in October tests taken by students in grades 6, 7 and 8 at the middle school and grade 11 at the high school.

Although Barnes identified a "plateau" reached this year, when some scores stayed level or declined slightly, on the whole he pointed to rising scores as indicative of the "hard work of our teachers, staff, administrators and students."

Ponaganset scores on the R.I. Department of Education web site (www.ride.ri.gov/) show, all grades combined:

* 85 percent of student test-takers scoring at or above proficient in reading in 2013, up 6 points from 79 in 2009

* In math, 66 percent from 58 percent, 2009 to 2013, up 8 points

* In writing, Barnes said, the district since 2009 saw a 10-point increase, from 63 to 73 percent proficient or better, with increases at both the middle and high schools.

The number of students scoring at the lowest level of 1 in math has dropped, from 37 students last year to 18 this year, Barnes said, and "only one district had a smaller percentage of grade 11 students scoring 1, and that was Barrington."

Twelve grade 12 students have NECAP scores that put graduation in jeopardy, 10 due to math scores and two in reading.

"There are other measures for them to do," Barnes said. "We are still working with them to provide opportunities for them to demonstrate proficiency."