C-A parents will soon be seeing STARS

New program offers a different way to gauge success

FLINT TWP. — Coming home with report cards in about two weeks will be results of a school improvement initiative to give parents of Carman- Ainsworth students another measurement of their child’s academic progress so far this year.

Implemented this school year, the STAR Assessment screening in reading and math is given in the Fall, Winter and Spring to students from kindergarten to 11th grade, said Steve Tunnicliff, assistant superintendent, who presented the latest testing results at the school board meeting on Tuesday night.

He showed data comparing the results of the Winter assessment, conducted during the first three weeks in January, to the results of the Fall assessment done at the beginning of the school year.

Overall, students showed much better progress in math scores than reading scores,Tunnicliff said. At some schools, test results show students performing at levels equal to as much as a full school year of growth while others show progress on pace with five months of learning and some show no growth.

The test consists of 24 questions each in reading and math and is based on national norms, Tunnicliff said, noting that unlike MEAP scores the test measures students’ progress against themselves rather than other students or school districts.

He stressed that that the screening results are an informative tool and not a cause for panic if they show no growth or declining performance.

“I’d hate to see people overreact,’’ he said. “This is one of the better initiatives we have gone to to understand our learners.”

The data is is best used as a tool to help administrators and teachers assess what in the curriculum is working and areas that may need to be changed, he said, noting that interventions are being discussed to improve lower scores by the Spring assessment.

Parents who have questions about STAR results will be invited to attend an open house later this year, Tunnicliff said. He also said that a parent-teacher conference is a good format to take an in-depth, individual look a the STAR results.

Hopefully, the STAR results will encourage parents to talk to their child about their academic progress, Tunnicliff said.

Superintendent Bill Haley said it is a significant report, showing the district’s increased effort to track and improve students’ progress in math and reading.

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