OXFORD — Many of the district’s elementary schools showed “real growth” in the most recent round of state assessment test scores, according to Curriculum Director Kathy Elkins.

Elkins reviewed the results of the fall 2010 New England Common Assessment tests in reading, math and writing for grades three through eight at last week’s Oxford Hills School District Board of Directors meeting.

The discussion was part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act requirement to provide an annual report card about student achievements to the public each year.

Some fifth- and sixth-grade students in the Rowe, Oxford, Hebron and Otisfield elementary schools gained anywhere from 22 to 26 percentage points in their math and reading scores over last year’s test results, and were 24 percentage points higher than state average in writing scores, which were administered for the first time this year, Elkins said.

For example, 65 percent of Otisfield Community School fifth-graders were considered proficient in writing as compared to 41 percent statewide.

A whopping 100 percent of Hebron Station School sixth-graders showed proficiency in reading — a gain of 25 percentage points over last year’s reading  test results.

While there was good news, there was also some bad news, she said.

Elkins reported that grade three scores in math were 14 percentage points lower than the state average of 61 percent this year.

She called the results “unacceptable.”

“We’re working on that,” she said.

Elkins said what is important to her is a general 22 to 26 percentage point increase in overall test scores from 2007 to the present testing year.

The Rowe Elementary School has shown “stellar” growth, she said, going from 43 to 65 percent during that time period in overall test scores. The Oxford Elementary School has also gone from 49 percent to 65 percent. Elkins said the results are based on test results for the same students each year, which she said is a better indicator of test score growth.

Elkins told the Oxford Hills School District board of directors last week that one of the major problems with trying to improve scores, is the lack of funding.

“How do we maintain increased growth in these tough economic times?” she asked.

Last year, reductions in state funding resulted in part in a reduction of almost 37 jobs, the elimination of the elementary foreign language program, cutting gifted and talented services in half, a reduction in staff development days, three administrative positions, a 50 percent reduction in allocations for instructional materials and the move of many fifth- and sixth-grade students to larger schools from their community elementary schools.

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