Test scores deserve accolades

Published 11:49 pm Friday, September 10, 2010

Why would one gain a victory and then declare defeat?

It wouldn’t make sense, but that’s exactly what Bertie County Board of Education member Emma Johnson did Tuesday night.

When presented with testing data from last school year, Johnson couldn’t seem to get past the fact that most of the scores didn’t show 80 or 90 percent of students in the district proficient.

While a great goal, it was an unrealistic one considering where the district’s scores were. It wouldn’t be logical to expect a group of students that were only proficient at a 45 percent level in 2008-09 to achieve at a 90 percent level just one year later.

We find ourselves much more in agreement with Interim Superintendent Dr. Will Crawford and board members Pamela Chamblee, Rickey Freeman and Alton Parker, who were  vocal in their pleasure concerning the tremendous increase from a year ago and especially from the poor scores two years ago.

While all of us would love to see test scores that were in the 90 percent and above range for our local schools, it would be almost impossible for them to achieve that lofty goal in a single year or even a two-year span.

We are where we are test score wise. It didn’t happen overnight and any remedy that changed it overnight would be one that would draw scrutiny because it would be difficult to believe it was real.

The Bertie County School district has test scores growing at a good rate at every level. That is something that should be applauded. It is something, if the same effort continues, that will eventually get 80 or 90 percent of the student population proficient in tested subjects.

Tuesday  night’s news in Bertie County should be celebrated. Teachers and students should be praised and principals should receive a pat on the back. It may not have been reaching the final plateau, but it certainly was an incredible performance.

Bertie County Schools won last year in testing data. The scores were ones that deserved a victory celebration, not ones that should have been shrouded in doom and gloom.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald