Changes in math curriculum and instruction within the Fort Dodge Community Schools in recent years has proven to be beneficial as math scores on standardized tests have improved greatly among students.
The scores are based off results from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Iowa Test of Educational Development, said Sue Wood, curriculum director for the Fort Dodge Community School District.
Each set of scores is divided into three age groups: grades 3 through 5, grades 6 through 8 and grades 9 through 11. The scores are reported to the Iowa Department of Education each school year.
During the 2007-2008 academic year, students in grades 3 through 5 increased their math scores from 76.2 percent proficiency to 77.2 percent proficiency. Students in grades 6 through 8 improved from 68.8 percent proficient to 76 percent proficient. Between 2002 and 2006 the 9th through 11th grade age group saw the most significant increase on math scores, improving from 64 percent to 77.2 percent proficiency over the course of six years.
"In the high school grades, we have seen a phenomenal increase in recent years," Wood said. "It's been a nice growth overall in every grade."
In order to be considered proficient in an academic subject, students must score in the 41st percentile or higher on standardized tests, meaning that they must do better than 41 percent of students within their age group.
"We have had a change in the instruction and curriculum in the elementary grades," said Wood. "That has really helped our students' scores, especially those in sixth through eighth grade."
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