|PTHS PLAN Test Averages Show Improvement in Every Category|
|Written by Wayne Walden|
|Wednesday, 14 March 2012 12:34|
Paducah Tilghman High School PLAN score averages increased in every category over the previous year, according to test results recently released by American College Testing (ACT) to the Kentucky state department of education. Kentucky’s 10th-grade public school students participated in a statewide administration of the PLAN assessment in the fall of 2011.
The sophomore class at Paducah Tilghman had a composite average score of 17.7. Averages for subsections of the test were 17 for English, 17.4 for Math, 17.3 for Reading, and 18.9 for Science. The average for each category was the highest the school has received since tracking began in 2006-07.
As a result, PTHS saw significant moves in ranking when compared to other high schools in the state. Out of 230 schools, PTHS moved from 99th to 43rd in English, 91st to 48th in Math, 59th to 53rd in Reading, 118th to 28th in Science, and 87th to 44th in composite average.
Tilghman’s composite PLAN average places it in the top 20% of high schools in the state.
“We’re very pleased to see to see the increase, and are particularly pleased by the improvement in science and our composite average because that tells me scores are being raised for all our subgroups,” said Paducah Tilghman principal Art Davis.
Davis said factors that contributed to the improvement were the timing and the process used for preparation for the PLAN.
“Since the test is administered so early in the school year, we began preparing for it toward the end of last (school) year,” Davis said. “We targeted students who need remediation so they could be prepared. We want to do the same sort of preparation students to do when preparing for the ACT.”
Davis explained that school faculty and staff looked at students in areas they were weak in, and helped them develop individual plans that would help them increase their scores.
To maintain the momentum that has been generated by the improvement in scores, Davis wants to come up with more ways to help students become college/career ready.
“We are adding a seventh period to the school day next year,” said Davis. “With more class periods available, we want to offer more AP classes, along with classes in business, NJROTC and consumer science. The big picture is that we want our students to be ready when they graduate to go into the work force and/or hit the benchmarks that will allow them to enter college.”
Administration of the EXPLORE and PLAN assessments, which are provided by ACT, Inc., was mandated by Senate Bill 130 in the 2006 session of the Kentucky General Assembly. The two assessments are designed to help schools focus on meeting academic standards across the entire secondary school program. You can see complete results for the state here under the heading “Readiness for College/Career”.
The EXPLORE program is a high school readiness examination designed to help eighth graders explore a broad range of options for their future. The exam assesses four subjects (English, mathematics, reading and science) and provides needs assessments and other components to help students plan for high school and beyond.
The PLAN program helps 10th graders build a solid foundation for future academic and career success and provides information needed to address school districts' high-priority issues. The exam assesses four subjects (English, mathematics, reading and science) and is a predictor of success on the ACT.
Both assessments help schools pinpoint areas of weakness for individual students and school wide curriculum and make changes to improve learning. Schools will analyze their individual results to inform decision-making.
With the K-PREP (Kentucky Performance Rating for Educational Progress) coming up in May, Assistant Superintendent Donald Shively is eager to build on the momentum created by the increase in PLAN score averages. “We are excited about the growth we have seen in both our Plan and Explore scores, and we expect to continue to build on that success through the spring assessment period,” Shively said.