Consultant improved school test performance

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MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – Middle Township High School saw some progress this year on state assessments, a year after a consultant’s contract to help ended.

For two years, Standards Solution provided teachers with assistance with the standardized testing, including showing students how to take them.

The Warren County company specializes in curriculum, instruction and assessment, and it worked at the high school, middle school and elementary school No. 2.

Students are given the high school exams in the spring, which covers math and language arts literacy.

Special education students have made substantial improvements on the High School Proficiency Assessment, said Lyn Langford, director of curriculum and instruction at Middle Township.

During the 2008-09 school year, 31.1 percent of students received proficient or advanced in the language arts literacy; 65 percent scored that this year. In math, 13.2 percent of special education students received at least proficient compared to 43.6 percent in 2012.

Overall, students did perform better on the High School Proficiency Assessment.

In language arts literacy assessment, 91.6 percent of students received at least proficient compared to 90.4 percent the year before. There were 81.9 percent of students who scored proficient or advanced in math; the previous school year was 70.7 percent.

Before the Board of Education brought in Standards Solution, the school saw 77.2 percent during the 2008-09 school year in language arts literary and in math, 69.4 percent.

Lyn Langford, director of curriculum and instruction at Middle Township, called contracting with Standards Solution “money well spent.”

She said more significant increases were seen at the high school, but the company especially concentrated at elementary school No. 2. Elementary school and middle school students take the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge. That test also includes math and language arts literacy; some students also take science.

Standards Solution’s services became costly, Langford said.

In the first year, services provided by the company cost $19,000, with the district funding $2,000 and the remainder paid through a grant. The second year, the school board approved $79,500, with the district paying $8,431, according to contract information on the school district’s website.

The school board also paid for the contracts through the Title 1 program, which is federal government funding given to schools based on a high number or percentage of low-income families; and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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