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Sep 19 2012

Mexico Schools’ Test Scores Sluggish

Student performance was the topic of conversation at Tuesday night’s Mexico School Board meeting, and things don’t look great right now for the district.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Zach Templeton gave a presentation on MAP and End of Course results. He distilled the several pages of information into three simple questions.

First, is the district doing well?

“For the most part, I can say with relative certainty that we are under-performing the state, we are in the bottom half of surrounding districts in terms of our overall performance. So we certainly wouldn’t be able to answer that with an ‘affirmative,'” Dr. Templeton said.

Second, is the district doing better?

“There’s evidence throughout that suggests overall, we are. There are maybe one or two areas where we’re not. The other part of that is ‘are we making progress that is equal to or greater than the level of the state, are we closing that gap?’ Probably not as quickly as we want,” he said.

And lastly, why do the test results matter?

“It really comes down to accreditation as the state moves towards its [own accountability] program. Those scores are going to be a huge component of that. And overall, for the pride of the community, we want to be able to say we’re doing well,” he answered.

No action was taken, but several board members voiced their concerns about the lackluster results. All of them echoed the need to find ways in which to help improve achievement.

Board President Dr. Peter Perll agreed. However, he said parents and students need to take accountability for their education. He added that there’s only so much the administration and school board can do to improve student achievement.

Superintendent Kevin Freeman believes the district is heading in the right direction, albeit sluggishly.