Source: Sherman Publications

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Clarkston pupils top test averages

by Wendi Reardon

July 20, 2011

Results are in for Michigan Merit Exam and ACT tests, and Clarkston juniors continue to score above schools in Oakland County and the state.

The juniors scored above average in all five testing subjects, reading, writing, math, science and social studies.

They scored an average of 76 in reading, compared to 68 average for the 11 districts in Oakland County and 63 for the state; in writing, 62 average in Clarkston, 56 in Oakland Country, 47 in the state. The juniors averaged a 69 in math compared to 60 in Oakland County and 52 in the state; 77 in science while Oakland County average 66, 61 in the state; and Clarkston averaged 81 in social studies while Oakland County had 80 and the state had 78.

"We will continue to work hard every day to make sure each of our students achieves at a high level," said Dr. Rod Rock, superintendent. "We're pleased that our scores on state and national tests continue at a level above the state average in all areas."

Also, fewer students scored in the lowest performing category, Rock said.

"At the same time, we will continue to look at achievement gaps and address those through direct support to students," he said.

Three areas continued an upward trend over the last five years. Scores fell in two areas. In reading, Clarkston's average fell from 78 last year to 76. The scores are up from 2007, when it was 73.

Scores also went down in social studies, falling to 81 after last year's 88 score, which was down from 91 in 2009.

Compared to other districts in the area, Clarkston scored higher than Oxford and Brandon in all five of the areas. Clarkston scored higher than Lake Orion in writing and math. Bloomfield Hills scored the highest in Oakland County in all five areas.

"We will also continuously analyze our curricula, instruction, programs, and ongoing assessments to make sure each student is achieving at a high level," said Rock.

The juniors also scored higher in their ACTs compared to averages in Oakland County and Michigan.

Clarkston scores improved the last five years in the ACTs. In English, juniors scored 20.3, a 0.1 increase; in math, 21.1, a 0.5 increase; in science, 21.4, a 0.1 increase; and in composite, 21, a 0.1 increase.

The score dropped 0.1 in reading from last year, with an average score of 21.

Since 11th graders began taking the ACT in 2008, Rock thought it was good for scores to remain steady or improve, even by slight amounts.

"It is important to remember all of our juniors take the test," he said, adding Michigan is one of only six states requiring the ACT.

As the district gets ready for the 2011-2012 school year, Rock will provide additional details on goals and strategies while focusing on what he believes is important making sure every graduate is prepared for what comes next in life.

"We wish for each child limitless opportunities and unbounded pursuit of his or her dreams," he said, adding teachers, support staff, principals and community will continue to lead the way for students.

"I feel strongly our revised teacher professional development calendar for next year will enhance teaching and learning for every child," he added. "I also feel our mission, vision, learner profile and strategic plan will move learning forward."