South Burlington High School

Statewide science assessment results for Spring 2011 were released by the Vermont Department of Education on September 30th, and there was good news and not-so-good news for the SB School District.

The science test results are from the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) Science Assessments given to Vermont public school students in grades 4, 8, and 11 in May of this year. The assessments combine scores from multiple choice and short answer questions with results from an inquiry task that requires students to analyze and interpret findings from an actual science experiment. NECAP assessments were created in collaboration with Rhode Island and New Hampshire; they are designed to measure how well Vermont students have learned the skills and content contained in the Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities and Grade Expectations.

The good news: each of the five South Burlington schools participating in NECAP had a greater percentage of students with proficient or higher scores than the State.

53% of all Vermont 4th graders assessed were proficient or higher in science. In comparison, 65% of Chamberlin School 4th graders, 54% of Orchard School 4th graders, and 70% of Rick Marcotte Central School 4th graders had proficient or higher scores. Of all the District’s fourth graders, one Central School student was the only child to score at the Proficient with Distinction level.

29% of all Vermont 8th graders assessed were proficient or higher. F.H. Tuttle Middle School had 48% of its 8th graders with proficient or higher scores.

31% of all Vermont 11th graders assessed were proficient or higher. SBHS had 41% of its 11th graders in the proficient or higher range.

The not-so-good news: 16% of Orchard School 4th graders scored “substantially below proficient,” 5% more than all Vermont 4th graders. In contrast, only 4% of Rick Marcotte Central School 4th graders had scores at the “substantially below proficient” level, and Chamberlin School had no students with scores at that level.

Help and hope are on the horizon, however. At about the same time that the NECAP results were released, the Department of Education announced that Vermont will be among 20 states working with Achieve, Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps states raise academic standards and graduation requirements, to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). According to the Education Department, the new standards “will clarify and improve understanding of the science content and practices students will need to learn from kindergarten through high school.”

Complete NECAP Test Results are available as follows:

Chamberlin School (Grade 4):

Orchard School (Grade 4):

Rick Marcotte Central School (Grade 4):

FH Tuttle Middle School (Grade 8):

SB High School (Grade 11):

SOURCE: Bill Wargo, Correspondent

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