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ISAT and Terra Nova Test Scores High at New Lenox School District 122

Across the board, in reading, math, science and language arts the students at New Lenox School District 122 are excelling.

The New Lenox School District 122 Board of Education Wednesday heard a presentation by Peggy Manville, associate superintendent, highlighting the 2011-2012 test scores on the ISAT and Terra Nova, the national achievement test. The district's students have scored significantly higher than both the national and statewide averages.

A summary of the overall scores indicate that in mathematics, reading and language arts, the district's students are "very high for Terra Nova," said Manville. With scores in the upper 60s for grades 2nd through 7th, Manville said the district is scoring higher than the bulk of those tested nationwide. Before the district switched its math curriculum several years ago, the scores were in the 50s. The new approach is netting positive results.

ISAT results show similar progress, said Manville. District-wide the ISAT assessment shows that for the last nine years, student scores were higher than the state average; however, statewide scores have continued to climb every year since 2002.

For the 2010-2011 year, the overall average score was 87.70 percent, which was one percentage point lower than 2010. The state average for 2011 was 82 percent and 81 percent for 2010, according to the Illinois State Board of Education website.

Reflecting on the scores, Manville explained that the district also utilizes the AIMSweb tests three times a year. That’s a tool that readily reveals individual student strengths.

The purpose of offering all three types of tests is to make sure that there is consistency in the curriculum. When considered all together, "we want multiple tools to look at." This combination of scores also reveals which students struggle with test anxiety. Some students do very well in the regular classroom and with their assignments, but they do poorly on standardized tests.

"We have tools and test-taking strategies to help them out," she said. "These tests are going to stay with them—the ACT, the SAT—and we want them to learn how to take them."

Out of the eight elementary, intermediate and junior high schools in the district, the top scorers on the ISAT were: Liberty Junior High School, Spencer Crossing for 4th-6th graders and Spencer Pointe for 1st-3rd grade. Each of these achieved a 92 percent overall rank.

Audit gets clean bill of health

The district also got a clean bill of health from the auditing firm, Klein, Hall & Associates, Naperville. Supt. Mike Sass said that despite the financial straits over the past few years, "we're still standing. We're economically strong."

The board scheduled a special meeting to study and review financial issues for 6 pm. Dec. 6 at the district office.

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