The Education Achievement Authority has announced that the most recent assessment test scores show “phenomenal” progress in students of the state-run district.
Students completed the third round of Scantron Performance Series tests in late April and early May. The results showed that 56 percent of students already have achieved one or more year’s growth in reading and 44 percent have achieved two or more year’s growth. In math, 65 percent of students achieved one full year’s growth and 48 percent achieved two full years’ growth.
“The scores are phenomenal and impressive,” said EAA Chancellor Dr. John Wm. Covington.
“Students have responded enthusiastically to the new blended, student-centered approach to education. They are showing they want to learn and can learn given the right environment. They are closing the educational gap.”
Covington said students in EAA schools started out the year behind, so it makes sense to measure growth rather than benchmarks.
EAA students use levels instead of grades for placement. They work through a student-centered platform where they can move on to the next topic once they prove mastery.
“My math and reading scores have improved and it makes me feel like I’m really learning,” said Jordan Cook, 11, a student at Brenda Scott Elementary/Middle School. “I like being able to work at my own pace.”
Trumeia Smith, 12, a student at Nolan Elementary/Middle School, agreed with Cook.
“I get to move on to a new level without having to wait for the rest of the class. I like student-centered learning and I think it has helped me a lot.”
The most recent assessments show progress in students since earlier testing in January and February. Those results showed 27 percent had achieved one or more years of growth in reading, and 22 percent had achieved at least one year’s growth in math.
Covington explained that the tests, which are taken on computers, alter the level of the questions based on the student’s answers. If the student is answering all questions correctly, the questions start to become difficult. However, if the student is struggling to answer questions correctly, it lowers the level of difficulty.
“The assessments allow teachers to meet the students where they are at,” Covington said.
He continued, “The schools admitted into the EAA were in the lowest of the 5 percent of Persistently Lowest Achieving schools in the state. This new data shows that these students are learning. These schools have gone from a pattern of failing children to educating children.
“Students are catching up. We are working to get as many students at grade level and to make sure students who need more time are getting the attention needed. We definitely are seeing a paradigm shift in how education is experienced in Detroit.”