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PAWS Scores Down For Natrona County Students

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The Natrona County School District Board of Trustees discussed 2013 Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students results on Monday.

PAWS assesses proficiency in reading, math and science for Wyoming students in grades three through eight.

Mark Mathern, the Natrona County School District’s associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction, says scores were generally down for Natrona County students in all three categories. Mathern says that dip mirrors a dip that was seen statewide.

Mathern says the district’s transition to Common Core may be playing a role in the lower test scores.

“We asked our teachers to begin addressing the Common Core state standards – if, indeed, they began to start working on Common Core standards and began meeting those standards, there’s high probability that the questions the students were given on the state test did not align with what the teachers were teaching,” Mathern said.

Reading proficiency rates were down three percent in third grade, eight percent in fourth grade, seven percent in fifth grade and four percent in sixth grade. Reading scores for seventh graders were up four percent.

Reading scores for eighth graders were flat when compared to PAWS figures from 2012.

Math proficiency rates were down three percent in third grade, fourth grade and fifth grade. Math scores were also down four percent for sixth graders and six percent for eighth graders.

There was a four percent improvement in proficiency rates for seventh graders in math.

Science proficiency rates were down eight percent in fourth grade and 10 percent in eighth grade. PAWS assesses science proficiency in fourth grade and eighth grade only.

Statewide proficiency rates were down between one and five percent in reading, one and three percent in math and five to seven percent in science.

Statewide math scores for sixth and seventh graders were flat. A one percent math improvement was seen in eighth grade.

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