Sunday, November 1, 2015

Test Scores Don't Lie - Katy Estes

Although it had been a few weeks in between my first and second visit to the library, the work was just the same and I picked up right where I left off. In my time at the library I have come to realize that the students that I am tutoring would also benefit with more attention in the classroom. They don't just need help with their homework but also with understanding the material when it's first presented. According to, Cardinal Valley, a local elementary school that many of the students I help attend, has scored much below the proficiency level for statewide testing several years in a row. They are classified as a school that "needs improvement" and unfortunately that can be seen in how some of the students struggle to do their homework. Of course there can many factors that play into scoring poorly on a test and not understanding homework, but I believe a major factor is the prevalent language barrier. Many students speak Spanish as a first language and english as a second. For teachers that have little to no experience with speaking Spanish, this could cause difficulty reaching every student and ensuring that they understand. Also, for parents who have little to no experience with english, this could impede them from helping their kids with homework or understanding a concept. For both of these reasons, the after school homework help time at the Public Library is an excellent resource for these students. Of course it is even more beneficial for a volunteer to be bilingual, I still think that I (who has studied Spanish for 5 years but is not fluent at all) can make a difference with these kids at least in the sense that they will understand what we work on during their time at the library. I still think that it is the Lexington and Kentucky community's responsibility to ensure that each child is receiving an adequate education. With programs like that at the library, I think we are beginning to make the right steps.
I would also like to add, that in the past year, Cardinal Valley has improved their average test score by 6 points. Though they are still not proficient and continued to be labeled as "needs improvement", they are also showing progress. They passed their goal by 5 points. Hopefully with continued efforts and more programs to help with understanding material and homework, Cardinal Valley will be able to become a Distinguished level school.

Cardinal Valley Elementary School in Lexington, KY

1 comment:

  1. What steps do you believe Cardinal Valley can take to keep improving these scores?