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Huntington School Board Talks Student Assessments

Card outlines district's scores.

 Huntington school district assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction Dr. Kenneth A. Card, Jr. presented a detailed explanation this week of the district's plans to improve ELA and math assessment scores.

Card said that the state conducted a review on college persistence, and found that many college students were not successful. The state backtracked with assessment scores and that led to a decrease in assessment scores in 2010.  

"In 2010, the state recalibrated what it meant to be proficient," said Card. "They found that to be successful in college, students need to achieve a 75 on English Regents, and an 80 on Integrated Algebra, and to do that, students grades 3 through 8 needed to reach certain performance criteria."  

Card explained what the new standards and subsequent scores mean.

"It's not a dropoff, instead it's a recalibration of what it means to be proficient," he explained.  "We met the challenge in certain grade levels, and outperformed ourselves in 2011.  We're confident that it will only get better."

Superintendent James Polansky framed the discussion going forward..

“…I do believe we are at an educational crossroads," he said. "We can choose to resist or choose to embrace change efforts – it is important to acknowledge that certain things need to be done differently and in a manner that works best for the students in our charge.” 

“In this field, the status quo will not work.  It really never has," Polansky said. "None of us as educators, parents, or school community members can afford to sit back on our heels.

“We need to be as proactive and forward thinking as we possibly can.  We are faced with having to do more with less.  Right now the challenges are limitless.”

Board member John Paci wanted to know what the district would do to improve performance.

"We've been working on targeting instruction for students below the average, the average, and even above average," Card said.  "So we need to have a mechanism in place, which is to know who the students are, and we're matching student needs to the correct remedial or intervention programs.  Another thing we really need to focus on is keeping the students' skills strong especially after the fourth grade, when learning content really becomes fast and overwhelming."

Card also said that the district's action plan includes pre-teaching of content-specific vocabulary, quarterly algebra assessments, and intensive Regents review sessions. 

kate January 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM
This alls sounds great ....however, having 2 teenagers (11th & 9th grade) in the Huntington School District, you have "some" teachers in the system that need to be removed...period. When a student does not understand a subject and a child ask her a question and she responds " ask another student" as she reaches over to answer her cell phone, I have a problem with it. Very important is the quality of out Math teachers. One of my daughters 10th Grade Math teacher was a ctually teaching them a problem incorrectly . When a student continued to question her, she got another Math teacher to come into classroom and look at the problem to let the student know it was correct....unfortunatly, the other teacher said it was not correct and the student was correct. Those students (5 that I know personally) did very poorly on theoir Regents !! Please BOE, keep on top of the "quality" of teachers you are allowing into our schools. Take the complaints of the parents seriously and follow thru. And for those teachers that are close to retirement....let them all take early retirement and replace with more energetic teachers !!!!
skip January 13, 2012 at 03:14 PM
There is no incentive to care for the children's needs. They are just waiting for the pot of gold at retirement on the backs of us taxpayers!
JSC January 13, 2012 at 11:44 PM
kate, I would hope that you have followed the "chain of command" by talking with the problem teachers first, then the principal, then the Asst Supt for Curriculum, then the Supt. The school board can only know what is presented to them for hiring, they are not in on teacher evaluations. Teachers not performing prior to tenure can be let go easily, after tenure it is much more difficult, though not impossible, and more expensive. Parents with concerns need to express them early and often. Getting several parents in the same class to call with concerns will help your cause. I disagree about teachers close to retirement however. Most of the time they are the best and losing them is a negative. Forcing early retirement doesn't always work the way you want! It takes new teachers, even the great ones, some time to get up to speed. The new bad ones don't always present that way during interviews or at observations. Parents must speak up as soon as they hear the alarms go off.

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