State end-of-course scores rise – mostly

The State Department of Education released scores from its end-of-course exams in literacy, geometry, Algebra I and biology. These are the tests given to high school students – the equivalent, in other words, of the benchmark exams given in grades 3 through 8.

The press release is pretty straightforward. Here it is.

LITTLE ROCK —The results of the Spring 2011 End-of-Course exams revealed increases in the percentage of students scoring proficient in Literacy, Geometry, Algebra I, and Biology.

The Arkansas Department of Education released the scores Thursday.

Algebra I proficient/advanced scores increased from 76 percent in 2010 to 78 percent in 2011. Geometry proficient/advanced scores increased from 69 percent to 73 percent. Biology proficient/advanced scores increased from 36 percent to 41 percent.

In Literacy, the percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced increased from 60 percent in 2010 to 65 percent in 2011. Notably, the percentage scoring in the advanced range increased from 2 percent to 16 percent.

“We’re pleased with the improvement Arkansas students have shown on these exams,” said Commissioner Tom Kimbrell. “The challenge will be sustaining that improvement over the long haul.”

Mid-year End of Course scores in Geometry, Algebra I, and Biology were lower in comparison to those of 2010.

Algebra I proficient/advanced scores dropped from 73 percent in 2010 to 57 percent in 2011. Geometry decreased from 76 percent to 60 percent. Biology dropped from 40 percent to 36 percent.

“The transition to the Common Core State Standards will allow teachers the time needed to teach core concepts well and students opportunity for mastery,” said Kimbrell.

Complete scores can be viewed at

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