Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Student test scores rank second highest in state


September 6, 2018

For the second year in a row, Haines has ranked number two behind Skagway School District in the Performance Evaluation for Alaska's Schools (PEAKS) test results. The test, administered to students in grades 3-9 statewide, has an English language arts and a mathematics section.

The test is ranked on four different levels: advanced, proficient, below proficient, and far below proficient.

Haines teachers used this data to model their curriculum and target improvement for the current school year.

Compared to the 2017 results, the Haines district has seen an eight-point increase in English and a five-point increase in math scores, ranking at 63 percent proficiency and 54 percent proficiency overall this year. Skagway School District ranked 87 percent advanced to proficient in English and 83 percent in math.

"Whenever you see a growth of 6 points schoolwide in math and 8 points in reading, that is incredibly hard to do," said Haines district superintendent, Roy Getchell. "Any superintendent in Alaska today would be thrilled with not only the achievement results, but the growth that students are making," he added.

The majority of all grades scored proficient or above in both subjects, with the exception of grades 3 and 8. Third grade saw the lowest scores, with only 35 percent scoring proficient in English and 40 percent in math. For the eighth graders, though the English score was above proficient, the math score sunk below at 33.33 percent.

"Even with great news, every system can improve," Getchell said. "I think about Michael Jordan. He had a coach to teach him how to improve, though he was the best basketball player in the world."

According to a press release sent out by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, about 78,600 students statewide participated in the PEAKS exam. Overall, there was incremental growth in each subject.

Forty-two point four percent of students scored at a proficient level in English language arts representing 3.4 percent growth from 2017, 36.7 percent of students scored at a proficient level in mathematics representing 2.8 percent growth from 2017, and 47 percent of students scored at a proficient level in science representing 0.6 percent growth from 2017.

"This year's PEAKS results show the kind of incremental sustainable growth that will change the trajectory of our system of public schools and the lives of individual students. Though the growth is marginal, it represents a collective commitment to improve the success of our students," said Alaska Education Commissioner Dr. Michael Johnson. 


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