Red Clay News
First Year State Test Results Lead to School Ratings
Red Clay District Rated Commendable
District ratings released by the Delaware Department of Education (DOE) in mid-October show that the Red Clay Consolidated District has earned a Commendable rating under the new state testing system, known as DCAS (Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System) In late August, 14 Red Clay schools were rated either Commendable or Superior. Student scores were used to calculate the ratings.
The new, computer-driven test was introduced last school year by the Delaware Department of Education (DOE). All students in grades 3 to 10 took reading and math assessments, with some grades also taking Science and Social Studies state tests.
In addition to the new test, DOE also raised the requirements for students to meet standard. When doing so, DOE officials and districts around the state warned parents that scores may drop significantly in the first year.
Red Clay did not see a dramatic drop in ratings, said Superintendent Merv Daugherty. “Overall, we were pleased with the results, given what was predicted,” he said. “We have a number of schools with high ratings this year and several schools that missed a Commendable rating by a slim margin. But we know we have work to do as a district, and these results can guide us on a path forward.”
Most families received their child’s score report over the summer. Some families received the score report in September because of a glitch DOE had with some addresses.
Parents who are interested in learning how an individual school was rated can visit school profiles available on the district website or contact the school.
Additionally, results are available at the DCAS Online Reports public website which can be located by visiting the DOE website and clicking the DCAS Online Summary Reports link. (see below for address)
As the district continues to review test scores for trends and areas that need improvement, district officials prepared for the first round of tests in the current school year.
During September and October, students in grades 3–10 have taken the first computerized test of the year, which contains material that will be covered during the year and serves as a baseline. Each subject typically takes an hour and a half and will be given several times during the school year, to track a student’s progress. Second graders will take one test in the spring.
Parents can explain to their children that the first test contains material they haven’t been taught yet, in order to follow improvement over the year.
During the spring test, students have an opportunity to show what they have learned throughout the year. In response to many parent requests, the state is allowing grade 3-10 students two opportunities to take the test if the student does not meet standards on the first try.
The test itself has many helpful features, such as flagging, or marking, a question to go back to review later, eliminating answer choices by crossing them out, and highlighting important points in text.
Families can help their students become more familiar with a computerized test format by giving them opportunities to navigate educational websites in general. In doing so, students will learn skills such as scrolling up and down a page to read text and clicking buttons for certain actions.
Our schools will also continue to incorporate technology into the students’ instruction to help students build these skills. Practice DCAS tests are also available for students to access outside of school. For more information, please visit the DCAS portal at http://de.portal.airast.org
Information on this page maintained by Pati Nash