Archive for Thursday, December 28, 2006

Majority of schools receive top marks on assessments

December 28, 2006

It's official: Almost every single test administered in the Baldwin School District received the standard of excellence rating on the 2006 Kansas state Assessments.

The results were released to the schools two weeks ago. Supt. Paul Dorathy was excited about the results.

"This district did very well on state assessments again," Dorathy said. "Of the 26 assessments that were given in this district, 22 of them hit the standard of excellence, which is almost unbelievable."

Marion Springs Elementary School Principal Gus Wegner spread the news of the results before the vacation. He said the kids all cheered, because they understand the tests' significance.

"I was very pleased with the results," Wegner said. "We knew that everyone had worked hard. The kids sensed the importance of this, which to me is significant. It's a nice achievement."

Dorathy said the results should make everyone involved feel happy.

"It's got to make you feel good," Dorathy said. "It's like the kid who works hard and studies for a test. Then the test comes back and he gets an A on the test. Of course, you feel good about that. It's kind of like a grade for our district. Our district received an A for how our kids are achieving."

Each grade level received a rating for its tests, but the buildings were also recognized with awards. Several of the schools scored well on the tests, when all of the scores were combined.

"Along with that, most of the buildings met building-wide standard of excellence in reading and math," Dorathy said. "It's very difficult to reach the standard of excellence. It takes all of the kids taking that assessment together to score high in order to meet that."

All three elementary schools tested, Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center, Vinland Elementary School and MSES, along with Baldwin Junior High School received the building-wide standard of excellence in reading and math. Baldwin High School reached standard of excellence in reading, but not math, although scores were above the state average. Students at Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center are not tested.

Since the tests were taken last year and Dorathy didn't take over the district reins until July, he said he had no impact on the results but he knows most everyone else did.

"Being new here, I can't take any kind of credit for any of these things, because these were last year's tests," Dorathy said. "I do think it's evidence of how hard the staff in this district has been working on their state assessments."

Although the results of the tests are positive, Dorathy wanted to let people know the state assessments are only a part of what the district tries to achieve success in.

"The only thing I always caution is state assessments aren't everything," Dorathy said. "They are an important measure of how we are doing, but it's not the only thing we need to be doing for students. We have a wide variety of things that our kids need to take in order to prepare themselves for what they want to do in life."

Near the end of February, the schools will begin taking the 2007 state assessments. Dorathy said the district will again be aiming high.

"Shortly after the first of the year, we will start a new window of tests for math, reading and writing," Dorathy said. "Then, we'll start through the process again. We'll be shooting for the standard of excellence again."

The district's results on the 2006 assessments can be found on-line at

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