Maine Education Assessment tests show RSU 21 students have shown improvement in most areas. Maine Department of Education image

KENNUBUNK — Students in RSU 21 who took the state’s assessment tests showed significant improvements in most areas compared to last year, though science scores slipped by a couple of percentage points from the 2017-18 to the 2018-19 school year.

The Maine Education Assessment tests, administered to students in grades three through 11 for math, English language arts and science, showed students in RSU 21 scored well above state expectations in each of the categories — with the gap anywhere from 14 points ahead of state scores to as much as 22 percent for the 2018-19 school year.

The Department of Education website shows how schools fared across Maine. Users can find information for a specific school, a specific district, or state results, at: https://maine.gov/doe/dashboard.

Information at the DOE website showed 73.5 percent of students in all schools in the district who took the English language arts test scored at or above expectations in the 2018-19 school year, the latest for which test results were available. In 2017-18 the RSU 21 score was 70.9 percent above expectations; it was 72.1 percent in 2016-17 and 68.7 percent in 2015-16.

In math, 57.5 percent of students in the district scored at or above expectations in 2018-19, up from 56.4 percent in 2017-18. In 2016-17, however, 59.3 percent scored at or above expectations, while 59.1 percent did so in 2015-16.

In science, 73.9 percent of the students scored at or above state expectations in 2018-19, down from 75.5 percent in 2017-18. The score was higher still in 2016-17, at 76.4 percent, and 72.1 percent  in 2015-16.

“We are pleased by the success of our students, especially with respect to overall increases of students meeting and exceeding state expectations in reading and math,” said RSU 21 School Board Chair Kendra Connor. She pointed out that district data for both reading and math for subgroups of economically disadvantaged students and those with disabilities also show growth.

“Our students and their teachers have a lot to be proud of. Their collective work is reflected in these test results, and it is gratifying to spotlight their successes,” said Interim Superintendent Phil Potenziano.

Here is a Maine Department of Education snap shot of RSU 21 showing performance indicators. Maine Department of Education image

A snapshot look at the schools in the district shows that there were 2,636 students in six schools in RSU 21 in the 2018-19 school year. The district spent $16,696 per pupil; the state average that year was $13,851. Performance indicators showed Consolidated School in Kennebunkport met the “excelled” category when it came to academic progress in English language arts. When measuring absenteeism, achievement in math, science, and English language arts, and graduation data, the information showed RSU 21 students were in categories ranging from developing to emerging to meeting expectations.

“The (school) board realizes that these tests are one measure of many to assess the health of our schools and the outcomes for student learning,” said Connor of the MEA tests.

She and Potenziano said they were looking forward to the March 2 RSU 21 School Board meeting, when the results will be discussed in detail.

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