According to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Shari Camhi, the Glen Cove School District is proud to announce that, on average, the passing rate on this year's state English Language Arts assessments went up an average of 8.16 percent.
In fact, Dr. Camhi
added, Glen Cove's scores took such a dramatic rise that The New York Times
identified the district as attaining the largest jump in all of Long Island in an article dated May 27.
This is especially significant, said Dr. Camhi
, when you consider that 31 additional English language learners took the exam this year as compared with last year because under new regulations, any student who has been in this country for more than one year must take the state exam, despite his
level of fluency in English.
As the Glen Cove School District
has placed an effort on identifying, analyzing and remedying gaps in the level of achievement by ethnic groups, it is reassuring to know, said Dr. Camhi
, that on average, passing rates of African-American students went up an average of 11.5 percent, passing rates of Latino students went up an average of 9.2 percent, passing rates of Asian/Pacific Islander students went up an average of 9.5 percent, and passing rates of Caucasian students went up an average of 7.4 percent.
Along with the hard work of students and teachers, Dr. Camhi credits steps taken by the district between last year and this year for greater student success in ELA assessment.
"One of the innovations that helped our students to improve was the implementation of the Columbia Writers Workshop Program in kindergarten through grade 8," said Dr. Camhi
.Columbia Writing places an emphasis on students' seeing writing from a reader's perspective as well as drawing on personal experience.Students frequently write in journals and then, in turn, use their "seed ideas" to produce various genres of literature through the revision process.The district also made a concerted effort to create literacy blocks of two uninterrupted hours daily where teachers and students could dedicate focused time to improving general literacy skills. Dr. Camhi
continued, "By carefully analyzing last year's state testing data, the district was able to determine specific areas of strength and weakness on a grade-by-grade basis.Because of this, we were able to focus on deficiencies, such as inferential thinking, and foster strong skills, such as reading comprehension, already in place." District administrators, under the guidance of Dr. Camhi and Jeffrey Yagaloff, coordinator of English Language Arts, worked toward common goals and as a result of the collaboration, every advantage was given to all students to allow them to perform at their optimal level of achievement.
As a result of a number of new initiatives and curriculum planning that realigned the district's mathematics program with New York State standards, in just one year's time, math assessment scores rose across the board by 14 percent, a remarkable accomplishment, said Dr. Camhi
Scores in the middle school, a difficult testing level for districts not just across Long Island but throughout the state, made tremendous leaps.In grade 6, passing scores rose from 52 percent to 73 percent.Grade 7 saw an increase in passing from 50 percent to 75 percent and in grade 8, student scores increased from 47 percent passing to 52 percent.
The increase in this year's assessment scores can be attributed to several factors."The collaboration between the board of education, administrators, teachers and students all had a role in bringing about this great accomplishment," said Dr. Camhi
."Through an intense re-evaluation of the district's mathematics curriculum, we developed and implemented a target list of initiatives that were geared towards improving the method we use to deliver math instruction." Working in tandem, the district's mathematics chairperson Mariana Ristea and Dr. Camhi collaborated to develop the following measures during the 2006-2007 school year: conducting staff development workshops with, and increasing communication among, math, ESL, and special education teachers in math and learning theories; creating pacing charts to realign existing curriculum to state standards and to ensure proper coverage of state-required curriculum;
"We feel the success of the initiatives we have implemented throughout the course of the past school year are directly demonstrated in the scores that were just released," concluded Dr. Camhi