Better results in newest PAWS test for Fort Washakie middle schoolersOct 3, 2017 By Alejandra Silva, Staff Writer
The goal for the Fort Washakie school district when it comes to student assessments is simple: steady improvement.
Fremont County School District 21 did indeed see growth in some student achievement scores on the Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Students test.
The 2016-2017 growth and achievement report from the Wyoming Department of Education showed that seventh- and eighth-grade students improved in their proficiency but still remained in the "lower growth, lower achievement" level on the standardized test.
Seventh graders went from being about 21 percent at or above proficient in the 2015-2016 school year, to almost 24 percent at or above proficient in the 2016-2017 school year.
Eighth graders went from being about 8 percent at or above proficient in 2015-2016, to almost 21 percent at or above proficient in the 2016-2017.
Fourth graders went from being almost 51 percent at or above proficiency in 2015-2016, to almost 48 percent at or above proficient in the 2016-2017 year.
Fifth graders were at almost 37 percent for 2015-2106 and went down to almost 35 percent in 2016-2017.
Sixth graders went from being about 49 percent at or above proficiency in the 2015-2016 year, to 47 percent at or above proficiency in the 2016-2017 school year.
Although these percentages didn't increase, they remained within the "higher growth, lower achievement" level.
One test, one day
Superintendent Terry Ebert said the results are similar to what he's seen in the past, but he noted that PAWS is "one test given on one particular day."
"We have many other assessments we use to see a broader picture of how our students are doing, so we know they are making progress in their learning," he said.
Staff and administrators are discussing student achievements, he said, noting that the data can fluctuate drastically when the student pool is small as it is in Fort Washakie.
"We also look at longitudinal data that represents the same group of students over time," he said. "This too has some issues as some students come and go, so it is not a true cohort over time."
Administrators and instructors plan to thoroughly review the assessment data and implement strategies to improve instruction and positively impact student learning.
In addition, the district purchased the Marzano Scales and Critical Concepts program this year to assist them in applying the tools teachers and school leaders need to see student achievement.
The program analyzes assessment results and what teachers are teaching and provides strategies to enhance the education at the school.