Educators Look For Ways To Improve Scores

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Teachers in one eastern Kentucky school district are looking for ways to improve their CATS and No Child Left Behind Scores.

Martin County school officials think more tests could help.

Martin County school officials want to find students' weaknesses before it's too late.

This year they're using a new method from Vanderbilt University to help find students who are struggling and help them before CATS tests.

Inez Elementary School Teacher Donna Horn does her best to help her third graders learn, but they never get their CATS test scores back until the school year is over.

“I know the CATS, we want to get those high scores, that's an important thing, but the most important thing is the child, that they're learning,” Horn said.

Martin County Schools haven't scored as high as they want in CATS and NCLB scores, so administrators are looking for ways to improve.

They're giving students a test like CATS three times in the school year to help.

“If we can diagnose a student that is struggling in a certain area, that will give us an opportunity to give them extra help,” Martin County Superintendent, Mark Blackburn, said.

They're using Think-Links tests from Vanderbilt University.

Students are tested in the fall, winter, and spring, and Vanderbilt grades them and gives teachers each student's scores within ten days of testing.

“With this, we can see what they're lacking in, and work harder to get that student up,” Horn said.

“So it will in turn help our NCLB results and also our CATS results,” Superintendent Blackburn said.

They think students will benefit the most.

They plan to do this every year from now on, so they can also map students learning from Kindergarten to high school graduation.

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