Sioux City schools performed better than state tests showed
By Sarah Te Slaa, Multimedia Producer/ Anchor - email
Recalculated test scores showed several Sioux City schools made major improvements.
Some good news for Sioux City Public Schools: A recalculation of tests scores showed several Sioux City schools have made some major improvements.
The Sioux City School District takes the Iowa Assessment tests in March and receives those results in May. The results are broken down by each school and categories of students. But when the Iowa Department of Education reported the test scores for the 2012-2013 school year, school administrators thought something didn't look right.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman said many felt several schools and categories had improved, but the state's scores didn't show that, so district officials recalculated the data. They found the department of education had an error in the formula it used to calculate student test scores across the state. The department of education looked into it and admitted to the calculation errors.
It turns out many Sioux City elementary schools and categories of students performed better than previously thought.
"We certainly understand that mistakes can be made," says Dr. Gausman. "We are thankful they were so willing to listen, take a closer look at it, and find the error. They've even gone so far as to show us how in the future they will do this a little differently so we can trust this data a little earlier."
The new test scores for five elementaries showed enough improvement to take them off the state's list of schools that need assistance for reading or math. Those schools are Roosevelt, Bryant, Emerson, Irving, and Lincoln.
"Our information that we reported to the community in August was very positive," says Dr. Gausman. "We had a lot of gain and we were particularly successful in reading, which was our focus for the year. We were just very pleased in September that the data was even better than we reported with confirmation from the State Department of Education."
All of the recalculated test scores turned out to be positive for Sioux City. No schools or categories of students performed worse after the recalculation.
When looking back at the data, the Iowa Department of Education also found mistakes in the 2011-2012 school year test results.
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