DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

February 20, 2014

Pinkerton Academy sees testing success

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — Pinkerton Academy students are improving their test scores in reading and math and are maintaining a level playing field in mathematics.

The recent New England Common Assessment Program offered the Derry high school its newest round of scores.

Pinkerton officials said they are pleased with the results.

Pinkerton’s Dean of Academic Affairs Chris Harper said the school takes the data and continues to make changes in the way students learn.

This is the last year the NECAP test will be given. Starting in 2015, students will be taking the Smarter Balance assessment test, based on the Common Core state standards now being implemented.

Harper said those new tests will be more computer based.

Pinkerton’s reading results showed 43 percent of students testing in the highest level, proficient with distinction, and 39 percent in the proficient level.

The state’s average total was 77 percent and Pinkerton came in at a total of 82 percent in reading proficiency results.

“We improved our scores,” Harper said.

Higher testing in reading can be attributed to many things now in place in the classroom to emphasize reading skills.

Writing scores were also above the state average, Harper said, with 61 percent of the students testing at proficient or proficient with distinction levels against the state’s 54 percent.

Harper said that category showed much improvement.

In math, Pinkerton stayed even with the state’s average of 36 percent of proficiency.

“We’re not where we want to be,” Harper said. “We are doing many things to try and change those numbers.”

Harper said Pinkerton continues to go full stream to put initiatives in place to improve test scores in these areas.

“And Common Core Standards will call for changes in what students learn, and how they learn,” he said.