Vermont among top performers on national math assessment

first_imgSource: Vermont DOE. 10.14.2009# END # Only one state outperformed Vermont in eighth-grade math and only two states outperformed Vermont in fourth-grade math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), according to results released by the US Department of Education today.Highlights for Vermont results include:· Vermont students were only outperformed by students in New Hampshire and Massachusetts on the fourth-grade exam.· Vermont students were only outperformed by students in Massachusetts on the eighth-grade exam.· Vermont was one of only five states or jurisdictions to show growth in scores in both grade levels, and all three New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) participants were included in that group of five (Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire). The other two were Nevada and the District of Columbia.“What is really impressive about these results is that the three NECAP states were already star performers,” said Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca. “It is easy to show growth when you are on the lower end, but for these well-performing states to continue to show growth is notable.”Vermont has shown steady gains on NAEP in both fourth and eighth grade math since 2003. Fifty-one percent of Vermont grade four students achieved the rating of “at or above proficient” compared to 38 percent of fourth-graders nationally. Forty-three percent of Vermont grade eight students achieved the rating of “at or above Proficient” compared to 33 percent of eighth-graders nationally.Poverty-based achievement gaps are still a concern. The gap between students eligible for the free/reduced priced lunch program and their peers is formidable (19 points in grade four and 23 points in grade eight).“While it is incredibly exciting that Vermont students perform so well compared to other states and continue to post gains on NAEP, it is disappointing that our low-income population did not improve to our expectations this year,” said NAEP Coordinator Susan Hayes. “We must determine how to address the stubborn achievement gap that persists between disadvantaged youngsters and their wealthier peers.”Vermont students took the exam during the months of January, February and March of this year. As part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), all states must participate in NAEP assessments in reading and mathematics at grades four and eight every other year. National and state-to-state comparisons are based on data from public schools only. Results for individual schools or students are not reported. For Vermont’s NAEP results, visit: http://education.vermont.gov/new/html/pgm_assessment/data.html#naep(link is external).  For a complete set of national results, visit http://www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard(link is external).For more information, contact Susan Hayes at (802) 828-5892 or susan.hayes@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail) or Jill Remick at (802) 828-3154 or jill.remick@state.vt.us(link sends e-mail).last_img read more

Marshalltown marks anniversary of tornado touchdown

first_imgMARSHALLTOWN —- Today marks one year since an EF-3 tornado plowed through the northern section of Marshalltown, leaving behind a path of damage — but no loss of life or any serious injuries.One of the many images that folks remember showed the cupola atop the Marshall County Courthouse being swatted to the ground by the twister. The storm also ruptured the building sprinkler system, sending out rivers of water on the east side of the historic courthouse.Marshall County Supervisor Steve Salesek was among the county personnel who were soon the scene “We went upstairs and poked our head out of the top where the mast used to be. There was a gaping hole us there about eight to ten feet, so we had quite a view up there for a short time,” Salesek says. The initial damage estimate on the Courthouse exceeded $17 million. The plan is for the County to move back into the Courthouse sometime after Valentine’s Day next year.Another image was of the damage to the RACOM building. The tornado ripped the siding off the building so you could see right through it. RACOM CEO Mike Miller says their repair work will take another six months.  “The outside of the building will be an aluminum panel, the siding is built to withstand winds of 150 miles-an-hour. I think you’ll see bigger windows, nicer windows, a nicer, more modern design. But we feel a responsibility to sort of , when given an opportunity, to upgrade and make things nicer,” Miller says.Miller recalled one of the unique things about the tornado. “There was a refrigerator on the fourth floor of the building full of soda pop. We couldn’t find that refrigerator anywhere around,” he says. “About three or four days later, we found it six blocks away. The tornado had the power to rip that refrigerator out of the building, move it six blocks away, and then set it down gently enough that the soda pop was still in the refrigerator…it’s just sorta strange, the power of a tornado.”An ice cream social is among the events scheduled to help mark the anniversary of the tornado.last_img read more