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NECAP results show local improvement

The results are in! According to the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) results released February 6 by the Vermont Agency of Education (AOE), elementary and middle school students across the state made significant gains in writing from the previous year, with even more significant gains in The Valley’s schools.

In The Valley, 99 percent of students at Harwood Union Middle School tested at or above proficiency in reading in the fall of 2012—up 11 percent from the fall of 2011—while across the state, only 73 percent of students in grades three through eight tested at or above proficiency.

Eighty-six percent of students at Harwood Union Middle School tested at or above proficiency in math—up 9 percent from the previous year—while across the state, only 65 percent of students in grades three through eight tested at or above proficiency.

Ninety-one percent of students at Harwood Union Middle School tested at or above proficiency in writing—up 33 percent from the previous year—while across the state, 51 percent tested at or above proficiency in elementary school and 66 percent tested at or above proficiency in middle school.

At the high school level, Harwood Union fell more in line with—yet still above—state averages. Seventy-six percent of students in grade 11 tested at or above proficiency in reading—up 11 percent from the fall of 2011—while across the state, 74 percent of students in grade 11 tested at or above proficiency.

Forty-three percent of students in grade 11 at Harwood Union tested at or above proficiency in math—up 9 percent from the previous year—while across the state, 38 percent of students in grade 11 tested at or above proficiency.

Fifty-four percent of students in grade 11 at Harwood Union tested at or above proficiency in writing—up 9 percent from last year—while across the state, 46 percent of students in grade 11 tested at or above proficiency.

Considering the state as a whole, “high school mathematics continues to be high on the Agency’s and Governor’s lists of priorities,” secretary of education Armando Vilaseca said, in response to more than half of students testing below proficiency level on a statewide basis. “While we only saw a slight increase in high school math scores [2 percent], our educators are serious about improving our students’ understanding and passion for math.”

But AOE state director of educational assessment is optimistic about the state’s increasingly high writing scores, explaining that writing skills “cuts across all areas of the curriculum.”

NECAP assessments are administered to students enrolled in Vermont public schools, with students in grades 3 through 8 and grade 11 tested for reading and mathematics, and students in grades 3, 8 and 11 also tested for writing. NECAP assessments are also administered to students in Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

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