North Bend Eagle

 

 

NBC releases State of School report

90 percent of NBCPS students meet or exceed state reading, math standards.

published 12/24/08

More info:

• See a report card comparision between NBC and other Nebraska schools. (pdf)
• See the data from any district in the state from the NDE website

NORTH BEND- North Bend Central Public Schools' elementary, junior high, and high school students exceeded state averages in reading, math, and science performance in 2007-08, according to the annual State of the Schools Report released December 12 by the Nebraska Department of Education. However, all three groups fell slightly below the state average in writing.

The State of the Schools Report, which includes detailed accountability information for each school district and school building, can be viewed on the Department's website: www.reportcard.nde.state.ne.us. The December release includes only state accountability data which is measured in grades 3-8 and 11. Broader federal accountability information required by the No Child Left Behind Act will be released to the public later in December.

State Standards

Note: The Department of Education released updated figures right before this story was published with some minor changes in NBC's numbers. As a result, some of the numbers in the Eagle story and the posted report card are slightly different. The numbers in the story reflect the updated, corrected figures.

Again this year, North Bend Central Public Schools met all the state accountability criteria, according to Superintendent Jim Havelka. The percentage of NBCPS students meeting or exceeding state standards was more than 90 percent in both reading and math in the seven grades tested, Havelka said. Assessment quality, based on an analysis of the district’s assessment portfolios in grades 4, 8, and 11, was rated as “Exemplary” in grades 4 and 8 reading, and at all three levels in math. The grade 11 reading portfolio received a “Very Good” rating.

"We continue to be proud of the way our students perform in core subjects," Havelka said, "but our staff and students realize that we must keep improving each year. This year we slipped below the state averages in writing proficiency and we are focusing additional attention on that skill.”
Havelka noted that the current state reading and math standards will be in effect for only one more year before new standards and statewide assessments come on line in 2009-10.

In both reading and math, students are assessed on several state academic standards and the scores reflect a compilation of the average score on each standard. In reading, local average proficiency in the elementary grades ranged from 91.2 percent in grade 3 to 100 percent in grades 4. Grade 7 average proficiency was 100 percent while in Grade 8 it was 95 percent. Grade 11’s proficiency mark was 95.4 percent. State averages for elementary students ranged from 88 percent in grade 5 to 91.5 percent in grade 4. Statewide, 88.3 percent of seventh graders, 91.7 percent of eighth graders and 89.3 percent of 11th graders were rated as proficient.

In math, NBCPS’s average proficiency in the elementary grades ranged from 96.3 percent in grade 6 to 100 percent in grades 4 and 5. Seventh grade students had an average proficiency of 90 percent, eighth grade was 92.5 percent and grade 11 was 92.9 percent. State averages for elementary students ranged from 87.5 percent in grade 6 to 93.7 percent in grade 4. Average proficiency statewide in grades 7, 8, and 11 were 89, 90, and 85.9 percent, respectively.

Science was reported on a statewide basis for the first time this year. Proficiency levels for NBCPS students were 92.9 percent in grade 5, 92.5 percent in grade 8, and 92.9 percent in grade 11. These scores compare to statewide averages of 89.1, 86.4, and 83.3 percent, respectively.
Results from the annual Statewide Writing Examination, taken in February, showed NBCPS students slightly below the state averages. The percentage of NBCPS students meeting or exceeding the state average was 78.1 percent in grade 4, 89.2 percent in grade 8, and 93.2 percent in grade 11. This compares to statewide averages of 90.6 percent in grade 4, 92.7 percent in grade 8, and 94.3 percent in grade 11.

Standardized tests

In addition to the state accountability standards, other measures were also reported in the State of the Schools Report.

For NBCPS students these included the standardized achievement tests which compare local students to others across the nation and the pre-college ACT tests. On achievement tests, the national midpoint is set statistically at the 50th percentile so half of the students should score above and half below. The ACT is scored between zero and 36 points.

• In reading achievement testing, about 56 percent of NBCPS fourth graders, 80 percent of eighth graders, and 64 percent of eleventh graders scored above the midpoint. The state report did not include a direct comparison of 4th, 7th, and 11th graders, but a rough comparison can be made with the state's figures for students in grades 3-5 (68 percent above the 50th percentile), grades 7-8 (62), and grades 10-12 (61).

• In math achievement testing, about 66 percent of NBCPS fourth graders, 82 percent of eighth graders, and 67 percent of eleventh graders exceeded the 50th percentile. The roughly comparable state figures would be: grades 3-5 (69 percent above the 50th percentile), grades 7-8 (64), and Grades 10-12 (61).

Although not included in the report, NBC sophomores annually take the pre-college PLAN Test. The average percentile score of 64 for the 2007-08 sophomores exceeded the national average.

• ACT scores for the Class of 2008 were somewhat below the state average, but matched the national average, Havelka said. NBC seniors had an average composite score of 21.1 compared to 22.1 for the state average, and 21.1 nationally. About 73 percent of local seniors took the ACT last year compared to 72 percent of all Nebraska high school seniors.

Demographics

Along with student performance, four demographic characteristics with a high correlation to student achievement were reported for each district. The first is poverty, which was measured by eligibility for free/reduced lunches. NBCPS had fewer students in this category than the state average; about 32 percent locally compared to about 37 percent statewide. The second is mobility. Last year, about 7.8 percent of NBCPS students moved during the school year compared to about 12.4 percent statewide. The third characteristic is language. While 6.8 percent of students in Nebraska are designated as English Language Learners, students who are not proficient in English, no NBCPS students were in that category. The fourth category is the number of students receiving Special Education services. Less than 10 percent of NBCPS students received SPED services in 2007-08 compared to about 15 percent statewide.

In terms of teacher quality standards, this year’s State of the Schools Report did not include updated information on teacher experience and education, but, Havelka said, NBCPS has consistently exceeded the state average in those categories. State regulations require that 80 percent of instructional units be taught by teachers who are fully endorsed in the subject area and NBC High School had a 2007-08 endorsement rate of 93 percent. One hundred percent of NBCPS teachers who are required to be “Highly Qualified” under the No Child Left Behind Act meet that standard.

Curriculum and academic requirements were also compared in the report. North Bend Central is among the approximately 89 percent of public school districts in the state offering all-day, every-day kindergarten. Fewer than seven percent of districts offered that kind of kindergarten program ten years ago, Havelka said. NBC High School requires four years of English for graduation and three years of math. Statewide, about 90 percent of high schools require four years of English and about 74 percent require three years of math.

In some areas, current data is yet to be compiled, so 2006-07 information was included in the report. NBC High School's four-year graduation rate for the period ending in May, 2007 was 90.5 percent compared to 89.2 percent statewide. Its dropout rate was 0.78 percent for 2006-07 and zero for 2007-08 compared to about 1.9 and 1.8 percent respectively for Nebraska as a whole.

Finances

Financially, the school district received about 84 percent of its revenue locally in 2006-07 compared to an average local support across the state of 53 percent. NBCPS received about nine percent of its funding from state sources compared to a statewide average of 37 percent. The school district spent about 65 percent of its budget on instruction in that year compared to a statewide average of 60 percent.

The state will release federal accountability results under the No Child Left Behind Act on Dec. 22. However, Havelka said, preliminary reports indicate that NBCPS met all federal standards again this year.

The NBCPS Board of Education is scheduled to discuss the State of the Schools Report at its January 12 Board meeting.

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