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Schools satisfied with test results
August 22, 2013 Jerry Purvis   

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Results are in from last year’s testing in the Gering Public Schools in the areas of reading, math and science – and educators are satisfied with the numbers.

Grades 3 – 8 and 11 were tested last spring in reading and math. Grades 5, 8 and 11 were tested in science. Testing was done through NeSA, the Nebraska State Accountability Assessment.

“Reading assessments have been in place for four years, so we have that much trend data to work with,” said Terri Martin, director of curriculum for Gering Schools. “We also have three years of math assessments and two years of science.”

She added that writing assessments have been in place for a longer period, but NeSa recently changed the grading format to a more analytic scoring.

“I don’t think there is any district that’s thrilled where they are until they’re at 100 percent,” Martin said. “That’s what we’re all striving for.”

In the area of science, all grades showed improvement. However, fifth and seventh grade math showed little improvement. And the reading scores were both up and down, depending on the grade.
“We knew we needed to work on our language arts curriculum last year during the testing period,” Martin said. “That’s when we started the process of rewriting the curriculum and we should have it ready to implement in the schools next semester.”

She also gave credit for the teachers for getting those improvements into their classrooms. “They’re the ones who get this done. They’re with the kids and get to know the kids. That’s important in getting the material across to the students.”

The teachers were an integral part of developing the new curriculum, which has been written. This fall, they’ll work on a method of implementing the materials into the classroom, starting in January.
“Overall, we’re happy,” Martin said. We’re showing improvement and that’s a positive. We’ve addressed our weaknesses and we’re ready to move forward.”

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