KAOL students excel on Terra Nova test

KINGMAN ­ Students in grades 2-9 at Kingman Academy of Learning scored in the top half of the nation in the spring administration of the Terra Nova test.

Terra Nova is a norm-referenced test given nationwide to children in grades 2 and 9. Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards test, also given in the spring, contains Terra Nova "embedded" questions that are scored and results released for students in grades 3-8.

Scores are given as percentiles. A grade level and subject with a 42 percentile score was surpassed by 58 percent of its peers in the country.

KAOL students scored 50 or higher in all grade levels and in all subjects (language, math, reading) in which they tested, with the lone exception of 48 in math for ninth-graders.

"We made a change in our high school math curriculum last year," said Susan Chan, KAOL district administrator.

"We sensed it was not meeting enough of the state standards, so we kept the Saxon math program through our eighth grade, but switched to a more traditional textbook from the McDougal-Little Co., for our high school. We ordered the books this summer for implementation in August."

There were numerous scores at or above the 60-percentile rank. In addition, second-graders scored at the 70th percentile in math.

Chan said her district always looks at language because it's a test that encompasses many disciplines within language arts. That is where the emphasis will be in classrooms in the coming school year.

She was asked if the Terra Nova test is less important that AIMS, which students must pass in high school to graduate.

"No," she said. "Terra Nova gives us a different glimpse of the academic progress of students," Chan said.

"While we need to teach to the standards, we also need to be aware other states and national boards have their own sets of standards that are included in some of the norm-referenced tests, so it gives us a good guideline on how we fare with other students around the country."

Terra Nova results may be viewed on the state Department of Education Web site at www.ade.state.az.us.

Go to the Accountability file and click "AIMS." Scroll down to norm-referenced test (Terra Nova) and click, and then go to the first bullet under Terra Nova results and click AIMS Wizard Report.