Improving test scores

 The results of the Mississippi Curriculum Test are in and both the New Albany schools and the Union County schools did pretty well.

Dr. Charles Garrett, New Albany superintendent, said, “Compared to last year, our district tested above the state average on everything. Of 18 tested areas, we improved in 12 from last year.”

And Ken Basil, Union County superintendent, said the county schools also showed improvement in 12 of the 18 areas.

“The teachers and administrators who have worked tirelessly in the last couple of years to help students improve should be commended,” Basil said. “We’re proud of the progress our students have made in a short time, but would like to challenge students and teachers to raise the bar again….”

Basil said the county schools math scores “were not what we would like them to be. It’s the main thing district-wide that we need to work on.”

New Albany had a dip in some math scores, too, but still had the second-highest scores in the state, according to Jackie Ford, New Albany assistant superintendent.

Some critics of standardized testing say that test results do not reflect the actual situation in the schools. We understand there is some “teaching to the test,” but we think standardized testing is important. And we do not discount the results.

We think it would be easier to dismiss the importance of test scores, whether on the state curriculum test, or national tests such as the ACT or the SAT, when districts are at or above the state and national average on those standardized tests.

In the meantime, we applaud the progress our schools are making and the good test results they have achieved. We know both the city and county schools are working hard to move the bar even higher.