Russell O. Brackman Middle School improved their performance on standardized tests, reversing a course for the last three years where the state found that the district needed improvement, Superintendent Karen Wood said.BARNEGAT - Students at the
Wood said the district has made improving test scores a significant priority in the past three years. More than 88 percent of this year's ninth grade students were proficient in language arts, 82.3 percent in mathematics and 89.3 percent in sciences when they took the standardized tests last year.
Their scores and those of this year's seventh and eighth graders significantly exceeded state averages and the district factor group, which New Jersey uses to categorize school districts by socio-economic factors such as income and poverty rates.
"We are really excited about the improvement in the Brackman Middle School scores," Wood said after Tuesday's school board meeting. "It is directly attributed to the middle school staff, the students and their parents."
Anthony Scotto, the director of curriculum, said the current ninth graders need to improve their informational text reading skills and may be seeing more non-fiction reading.
Scotto presented the public with the results of the Barnegat district's NJ ASK tests in the elementary and middle schools and High School Proficiency Assessment scores, as well as how the high school students performed on the College Board's Advanced Placement tests.
Barnegat High School's current seniors lagged their peers in language arts test scores but topped peers and state averages in mathematics, Scotto showed in a presentation. In language arts, 88.5 percent of Barnegat's juniors passed the HSPT compared with the state average of 91.6 and a peer average of 89.2. In mathematics, 81.6 percent of Barnegat's 11th graders last year were proficient versus the 79.7 percent state average and 73.9 percent among its peers.
Wood said there was not a pattern in the test scores among the different grades that showed any deficiencies in the curriculum, since the sections that needed improvement on the test scores varied by grade.
Scotto said the elementary schools will have a slightly restructured math and language arts curriculum and the middle school is introducing a new math series. In the high school, college planning will reach down to the ninth and tenth grades this year, he added.
School officials were enthusiastic about the 100 Advanced Placement exams taken by Barnegat's High School Students with 75 of them scoring highly enough to obtain college credits for their course work.
The Department of Education said on its Website grouping New Jersey's 578 school districts that 75 other districts were grouped in the "CD" category, which is where Barnegat is categorized.