Large increases, decreases found in school test scores

Monday, December 6th 2004, 6:03 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Scores on the annual Academic Performance Index test by Oklahoma public school students show some schools with large improvements in their scores from 2003 to 2004, while others have large drops in scores.

The Federal No Child Left Behind Act requires schools to show testing gains each year or face penalties, which could include staffing changes or eventual closure.

The API scores are largely based on math and reading test scores at a school, but graduation and attendance rates also play a factor. API scores can be as high as 1500 and many educators consider 1000 to be a state average.

Across Oklahoma, the state Education Department reports public schools range from 138 to 1459 points on a measuring system based largely on student exams.

Deer Creek's Prairie Vale Elementary received the highest API score of 1459 while the lowest score of 138 came from Tulsa's Hamilton Middle School, department reports show.

Some schools with large gains include Lawton's Cleveland Elementary, which raised its API of 513 to 1115.

Jamie Polk, principal of Cleveland Elementary, said increased parental involvement helped the school raise its score.

``From quarter to quarter, we stop and assess ourselves,'' she said. ``That way you can see where you need to do reteaching or redirecting, as opposed to waiting until the end of the school year.''

Other schools with big gains include Tulsa's Anderson Elementary, from 360 to 1016; and Tulsa's Madison Middle School, from 84 to 752.