New benchmark test results released | Arkansas Blog

New benchmark test results released



The state Education Department today released a report on school district performance on the so-called benchmark tests that measure academic progress.

Main release here. Scores in math and literacy are improving, as measured by the numbers who scored proficient or advanced, and Education Director Tom Kimbrell said progress continues in narrowing the gap between black and white students. This page will take you to many more links on the subject, including the complete list of results by district.

On the jump, the Little Rock School District is touting big increases in scores, notably among black students at some historically struggling schools, such as Mabelvale Elementary and McClellan and Hall High. The release claims improvements in 12 of 13 tests at the elementary and secondary levels.


LRSD students rock the state benchmark exam

Students make double digit gains

Target 2015, approved by the Little Rock School District Board of Directors this past March, outlines the importance of boosting student performance as the key to the District’s future. This past spring students in grade 3 through 8 and 11th grade were tested in the areas of literacy and math via the state benchmark exam. In twelve of the thirteen state benchmark tests, LRSD students showed gains at both the elementary and secondary levels.


More specifically, elementary students showed growth in both literacy (8%) and math (5%) in grades 3rd through 5th. In fact these gains met or exceeded the five percent growth goals outlined in the Strategic Plan. Looking at the subpopulations in elementary school tells an amazing story. Economically disadvantaged, African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Limited English Proficiency subpopulations showed growth at each grade level on both the literacy and math test. The populations showing the most gains were third grade Hispanic/Latino math students which increased the number of advanced or proficient by 16% over last year. Economically disadvantaged students in fourth grade improved by 12% on the literacy exam. African American fourth grade students in literacy made 11% gains.

Twenty-four of twenty-eight elementary schools made growth in combined grades in both literacy and math. Mabelvale Elementary School, which in previous years has been a low performing school, showed the most growth of any elementary school with a 23% increase in math scores and a 20% increase in literacy.

In order to close the achievement gap, African American students must make more gains each year. This year, elementary African American students made an average increase of 6% in math and 7% in literacy.


In middle school, literacy scores improved at all grade levels (6th through 8th) by an average of almost seven percent per grade with all seven middle schools showing growth. Math scores in grades seventh and eighth gained three percent. Some middle schools showing the largest increases were Dunbar which made almost 10% gains at each grade level in literacy; Pulaski Heights which made almost seven percent gains in math and nine percent gains in literacy. Traditionally struggling schools, Cloverdale improved six percent per grade level in math and five percent per grade level in literacy; and Forest Heights improved over four percent in math and five percent in literacy.

High schools in the Little Rock School District also have reason to celebrate with four of the five high schools all showing improvement on the 11th Grade Literacy Exam. McClellan and Hall made double digit gains in the combined population scores. McClellan led the way with a remarkable 23% gain in combined population and 26% gain with African American students. Hall, not far behind, made a 16% gain overall and a 15% gain with African American students.

Principals from Mabelvale Elementary and McClellan High School will be available for on-camera interviews on Tuesday. Contact Tiffany Hoffman to schedule a time for interviews.


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