Tuesday, January 03, 2012

TOP STORY >> Several schools do well on test

Leader staff writer

Arkansas students are smarter than more than half the country, according to information the University of Arkansas recently reported.

The school’s Office of Educational Policy said Arkansas students from kindergarten through the ninth-grade who took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills were in the 55th national percentile ranking, meaning they scored better than 54 percent of the students across the nation who took the test.

A percentile score of 50 is considered average, having half the nation score worse than that and half scoring better.

While the state average was in the 57th percentile, most Pulaski County Special School District students scored substantially lower, while those in Cabot and Searcy did much better.

The Iowa test is a standardized achievement test used to monitor year-to-year progress and can help supplement teachers in their observations about student capabilities, such as what a student’s most and least developed skills are. The test has been in use since 1935. It can also be used to compare students nationally.

The top schools in the region were Mountain Springs Elementary School in Cabot and PCSSD’s Arnold Drive Elementary, where students scored in the 74th percentile, meaning they did better than about three-fourths of the nation’s students.

Lonoke Primary School was in the 72nd percentile and Cabot’s Eastside Elementary was in the71st percentile and Magness Creek Elementary had a rating of 70th.

One the other end of the spectrum was Harris Elementary in PCSSD in the 30th percentile, meaning 69 percent of the nation’s students outscored them.

Also at that bottom rung were Jacksonville High School in the 31st percentile, Jacksonville Middle School in the 33rd percentile and North Pulaski High School in the 39th percentile, all far below the state average.

The overall percentile is based on what the students scored in reading, math, language and science portions of the test. Only certain grades took the science portion.

Here is a look at area districts.


While the primary school had an overall percentile of 72 and 77 in language (tops in the region), the other Lonoke schools fell below the state average.

Lonoke Middle School was in the 50th percentile, Lonoke Elementary in the 48th percentile and Lonoke High School in the 47th.


Besides Arnold Drive, three other PCSSD schools beat the state average, and two tied the average.

Clinton Elementary was in the 60th percentile, while Tolleson and Oakbrooke elementary schools were in the 58th percentile, and Sherwood and Cato elementary schools matched the state at the 55th percentile.

Among the district’s other elementary schools, Jacksonville Elementary, in its last year of existence, scored in the 42nd percentile, Murrell Taylor was in the 46th percentile , Pinewood had a rating of 48, Warren Dupree was in the 49th percentile and Sylvan Hills and Bayou Meto elementary schools were at 54.

Jacksonville’s Lighthouse Academy was also in the 54th percentile.

At the secondary level, Northwood Middle School was in the 44th percentile as was Sylvan Hills Middle School. Sylvan Hills High School had a rating of 43.


All Beebe school scored higher than the state average except for Beebe Middle School, which missed the mark by one percent.

Beebe’s early childhood center scored in the 62nd percentile. Badger Elementary was in the 58th percentile, Beebe Elementary and Beebe Junior High were at the 57th percentile, Beebe High School was at 56 and Beebe Middle School came in with a rating of 54.


Among its elementary schools, Stagecoach scored in the 68th percentile, Central Elementary was in the 66th percentile, Northside and Westside were in the 64th percentile and Ward Central was at 60.

At the secondary level, Cabot Middle School South scored in the 63rd percentile, Cabot Junior High North had a rating of 61, followed by Cabot Junior High South and Cabot Middle School North, both at the 59th percentile. The Academic Center for Excellence scored in the 51st percentile.


In Searcy, Southwest Middle School was in the 66th percentile, Alhf Junior High scored in the 64th percentile, Sidney Deener Elementary had a rating of 62, McRae Elementary was in the 60th percentile and Searcy High School scored in the 58th percentile.