Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Scores head in right direction


April 26, 2011

Published 8:39pm Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The assessment test glass appears half full instead of half empty to thirsty Dowagiac educators.

Where district third graders lagged four percent on third grade math scores in 2009, for 2010 Dowagiac closed that gap with state average by 2 percent.

“In elementary grades 3-5, we have three increases in comparison to state averages, we have two that remain even and we have two (third grade reading and fifth grade math) where we are 1 percent off the state average.

“We just need to continue what we’re doing and tweak it,” Assistant Superintendent Patti Brallier reported to the Board of Education Monday night in the middle school Performing Arts Center because of the new dinner for Top 10 graduates in the cafeteria.

“We increased from state average 10 percent” for sixth grade math, Brallier said. “We’re even in reading, we increased in social studies, we increased in math and reading at the seventh grade level. We increased in math at the eighth grade level, we’re even in reading, we increased in science and we increased in social studies.”

Brallier, who has been assistant superintendent for four years, said the middle school “strategy is working.”

“It’s really exciting,” she added, “because there is growth and positive achievement happening, and we look forward to continuing that with this next school year. We will focus on literacy in the areas of reading and writing, so that at the end of third grade all students will be at grade level. That is our goal.”

“I congratulate the staff and administration for the gains and trends,” President Larry Seurynck said.

Seurynck called Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal “very cynical” because “it’s not the School Aid Fund that’s in trouble, it’s the General Fund. The state has chosen to raid the School Aid Fund. For the state to jeopardize kids’ one fair chance at an education to improve their lives is a cynical way to balance the budget when there are obvious other ways” to meet the May 31 deadline legislators are working toward.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Daniel reported that high school students experienced storyboarding The Disney Way the Friday before spring break.

“We’re now looking to move into the six buildings” to share the experience with parents.

“Hopefully, we’ll finish that by May. Mr. (Bill) Capodagli has been contacted and he’s going to help us sort through the numerous storyboards and find some commonalities, so we’re appreciative of that,” Daniel said.

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