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S. Range tops Valley test scores



Published: Sat, June 2, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The state's charter schools had among the lowest passing rates.

By SEAN BARRON

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- The majority of public schools in the Mahoning Valley met or exceeded state passing rates on fourth- and sixth-grade proficiency tests given in March.

South Range schools continued to excel by posting the top figures in the Mahoning Valley -- and the second-highest numbers in the state.

That school district showed the highest percentage of its fourth-graders passing all five test sections -- reading, writing, math, science and citizenship -- with 79 percent. Canfield's 77 percent passing rate was the highest in the Mahoning Valley in the sixth-grade category.

Charter schools' results: Across the state, charter schools continued to score below state public schools. Six percent of fourth-graders and 5 percent of sixth-graders in Ohio's charter schools passed every section, Ohio Department of Education statistics show.

Charter schools are state-approved, publicly funded schools that operate independently of any public school districts.

By contrast, Ohio's public schools showed much higher figures. About 38 percent of the 131,000 fourth-grade pupils who took the test passed across the board, while 42 percent of the 128,000 sixth-graders showed proficiency in all five areas.

Of the 45 public school districts in Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties, 29 either met or exceeded the state passing rate average for fourth-graders; 32 met or exceeded the rate for sixth-graders.

Last year, 24 public school districts met or exceeded the fourth-grade passing rate and 32 schools met or exceeded the state rate among sixth-graders.

Lowest in Valley: Youngstown's public schools were still far below the state average with 9 percent of its fourth-grade students passing all five sections, compared with 7 percent last year. Twelve percent of sixth-graders passed all five.

Warren posted the second-lowest set of Mahoning Valley figures. Twenty percent of its fourth-graders passed all five test sections and 14 percent of its sixth-grade pupils did the same.

State law requires each school district to offer summer intervention to any fourth- or sixth-grader who fails to show proficiency in at least three test areas. Also, each district is required to provide intervention in fifth grade to those who fail to pass at least one of the fourth-grade test areas.

Statewide, fourth-graders showed higher scores in writing, math and science, compared with a year ago. Citizenship scores remained the same, but reading scores fell.

The percentage of sixth-graders who passed increased over last year in all areas except citizenship.

Barron@vindy.com




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