Schools making steady progress, test results show

  • Sep. 22, 2004 5:00 a.m.

By Heidi Bevington–Over the last five years, islands students have shown big improvement in basic reading, writing and math, according to the latest basic skills tests done by the Ministry of Education and made public Tuesday (Sept 21).
A year ago, Grade 4 students scored very well on the Foundation Skills Assessment, and with some ups and downs; on this year’s test, Grade 4s continued the trend. The 2004 students dipped slightly in writing and math compared to 2003, but scored higher on reading comprehension.
2004’s Grade 7 students also held their own compared to 2003, scoring lower on reading comprehension and math, but scoring higher in writing.
The Ministry of Education began province wide basic skills testing in 2000, testing students in Grades 4, 7 and 10. This year results are only available for Grades 4 and 7 because Grade 10s were not tested.
Overall, 2004’s students in both grades scored about the same as students the previous year, but compared to students tested five years ago, the improvement is dramatic.
The lowest scores this year were higher than 2000’s highest scores. That year, district-wide, 65-percent of Grade 4 s met or exceeded provincial expectations for reading-the highest scores that year. This year, 74-percent of Grade 7s met or exceeded expectations for reading and math-the district’s lowest scores.
In the last couple of years, School District #50 has been emphasising basic skill development, with emphasis on improving success for aboriginal students, and the strategy seems to be paying off.
In 2004, aboriginal Grade 4s did better than aboriginal students elsewhere in the province in all three areas. Aboriginals in Grade 7 scored higher than those elsewhere in the province in reading, but slightly lower in writing and math.
“We are trying to look at (the results) over a more substantial period of time,” Mike Woods, Superintendent of Schools said, adding “we are showing some steady progress in a number of areas, so that’s reasonably positive.”
With some ups and downs, islands schools are holding their own against schools elsewhere in the province.
Province wide, 80-percent of Grade 4s met or exceeded expectations for reading. In this district, 81 percent of students met or exceeded expectations. Port Clements had the strongest results with 100-percent and Tahayghen ranked lowest with 75-percent.
80-percent of Grade 7s in the province met or exceeded expectations. On the islands, 74-percent of students met or exceeded expectations. AL Mathers ranked highest with 90-percent and Tahaygehen lowest at 73-percent.
Early intervention in Grades 1 and 2 is key to student success. “If you can get them reading in Grade 1 and 2 that’s half the battle,” said Angus Wilson, principal of GM Dawson, formerly vice-principal of Sk’aadgaa Naay. However, big differences in ability may not show between students until the higher grades as students who are struggling fall further and further behind each year. In some districts in the United States, said Mr. Wilson, students who aren’t reading by Grade 3 are given intense reading instruction to help them catch up with their peers.
Educators throughout the islands will be examining the latest test results in coming weeks to deterine where improvements need to be made.

Just Posted

Choppy weather delays Haida Gwaii/Prince Rupert ferry

The Northern Expedition is delayed until further notice.

Get on it folks, says local MLA as referendum deadline nears

Haida Gwaii post offices got a small flurry of yellow referendum ballots… Continue reading

Nathan Cullen named Parliamentarian of the Year

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP won the top-title Nov. 5

On the Wing: Arriving without fanfare in the high tide

By Margo Hearne As November rolls along we remember the birds of… Continue reading

Oversoaked crab traps shows need for shared authority: Kitasoo Guardians

Any longer and the crab are likely to die and go to waste.

VIDEO: Two officers of B.C. Legislature escorted out amid investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

No deal in sight: Canada Post warns of delivery delays into January

Union holds fifth week of rotating strikes as both sides remain apart on contract negotiations

COLUMN: Higher interest rates will slow B.C. economy after ‘unusually robust’ show

Jock Finlayson is executive vice president and chief policy officer of the Business Council of BC

Jason Aldean, Old Dominion to headline Merritt’s Rockin’ River concerts next summer

Four-day music festival at Coldwater River from Aug. 1 to 4

Most Read