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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  • by Teacher Location: Retirement Village #1..Home Sweet Home! on Sep 17, 2008 at 06:09 AM
    "A Teacher Disgusted w/testing" This is true....you do not need textbooks in some rooms....the wall is plastered and well organized for the test so students just copy from the wall WOW ...This is even encouraged by the Central Office Staff to assure Great Scores...Please Investigate ...weeks before and during testing what is going on at these high performing schools.... They are not breaking the ethics code because the State of Kentucky tells them how to stay in line with the Rules for Testing...CATS ...what a waste of time and money...lol
  • by Bill on Sep 17, 2008 at 04:45 AM
    This is an easy one.Remove all extra activitys from the schools.Everything from cake walks to sports.Impelment voucher programs, so we can have private schools.
  • by Chad Location: Martin on Sep 17, 2008 at 04:37 AM
    As an educator myself it is very obvious where we need to start and that is with adequate funding from the state.
  • by AC Location: ? on Sep 16, 2008 at 06:54 PM
    Since when do teachers need to teach to a test? What about teaching children the foundation of reading, writing and arthimitic? Thats what matters when it comes to real life, not how they perform on a test. Get real KY and do away with the CATS test and lets focus on the future of this country and to make sure that they can read and write.
  • by A Teacher Disgusted w/testing Location: Somewhere in KY on Sep 16, 2008 at 04:14 PM
    If they want to raise test scores, they need to do what these high scoring schools are doing...plaster the walls from ceiling to floor with the answers to the test. That's right ladies and gentlemen, your child can score distinguished or proficient simply by knowing where to look on their classroom wall. Many test scores are inflated. I've been in the classrooms and seen the posters, I've had students tell me that their teachers told them to look at the posters and even quizzed them on where certain material was located on the walls. I've had students upset with me because, I would cover up the posters, take them down or make the kids turn their chairs around so they couldn't see the posters when they take tests in my room. Every classroom wall across the state needs to be stripped bare....then we'll know the true scores.

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