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APS: Poverty level a clear indicator of low test scores

Submitted by on September 11, 2019 – 12:58 amNo Comment

Alpena Public Schools students, as a whole, did not perform very well on the latest M-STEP test that was taken online in spring.

However, administrators are quick to point out that that state test is only one indicator of performance, and some students did score about the state average in a few subjects.

The school district is still analyzing the data, some of which was shared with the board of education’s curriculum and technology committee Tuesday, for grades 3-7.

Third and fourth graders, as a whole, scored fairly well in both English, Language Arts and math. Wilson 5th graders were the only group to score above the state average in the “Advanced” or highest level in any subject. That happened in math. Fourth graders at nearly every elementary building performed well below the state average in math. Fifth grade math scores were also low at most schools.

Kids at Lincoln Elementary struggled in all subjects and all grade levels. Some of the scores were extremely low.

Administrators believe socioeconomics play a major role in how kids perform in school. “Our poverty level is a clear indicator of our (test) scores,” Superintendent John VanWagoner told the committee.

VanWagoner went on to say that too many young APS students are entering school already behind the curve.

Scores were also shared from the latest round of SAT tests taken by APS eighth through eleventh graders. Eighth, ninth and eleventh graders scored slightly above the state average; and tenth graders slightly below average.