EDUCATION Test results, reading scores on the rise

YOUNGSTOWN -- With the release of state and local report cards less than a week away, school board members were given a snapshot of how city schools performed during the 2004-05 school year.
Rosie Marich, district director of data processing and testing, outlined for the board during its meeting Tuesday many gains the schools made in test results and graduation and promotion rates. Increases were seen in seven areas on state proficiency tests as well as on the Ohio Graduation Test reading score.
To be released Tuesday, the 2004-05 school year report cards used to rate and rank all 614 state districts' testing data, attendance and graduation rates. The report cards, which also will rate individual schools, are part of the federal No Child Left Behind mandate, Marich said.
Four ways the state and local report cards measure progress are in performance index, growth calculations, adequate yearly progress and state indicators. This year, the district has 23 indicators, 21 of which are achievement and proficiency tests requiring a 75 percent benchmark; the other two reflect the graduation and attendance rates, Marich said.
The graduation rate in the district this year was about 56.9 percent, compared to 54.1 percent in 2004, Marich said. Graduation rates were up at The Rayen School as well as Woodrow Wilson and Chaney high schools, she added.
The district's promotion rate went up 0.1 percent during the same time, Marich said, meaning fewer pupils failed. Furthermore, the 84.2-percent reading score on the Ohio Graduation Test was above the 75 percent state standard, she added.
Clearing land
In other business, the board approved a resolution awarding a contract to Dave Sugar Excavating Inc. of Petersburg to raze Paul C. Bunn Elementary School. Demolition of the school, at 1825 Sequoya Drive on the city's South Side, is slated to get under way Aug. 22, said Tony Deniro, executive director of business affairs.
Estimated cost of the work is $211,000, and a new Bunn elementary will be built in the same area.

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