Focus on reading pays off for Eagle Academy

GOLDEN VALLEY ­ Reading was the strongest subject for students at Eagle Academy taking the spring administration of the Terra Nova test.

Students in grades 4, 6 and 7 scored at or above the 50th percentile in reading.

"We've been emphasizing reading for years," Eagle Principal Mary Stuart said. "But we also emphasized math and had small group tutoring (last year) in math."

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

Scores are given in percentiles.

The higher the score the better students performed in that grade level and subject.

Language was the subject with the widest variation in scores at Eagle.

Third-graders scored 18, while fourth grades posted a 56 score.

In addition, math scores were nearly as wide.

They went from 20 in third grade to 48 in second grade.

"Our second grade math results were very pleasing," Stuart said.

"We have a lot of special needs children, nearly 25 percent, in third grade and that was reflected in those scores."

Still, students showed overall improvement from scores on the 2005 test, she said.

"Growth also was reflected in longitudinal scores, so we'll continue intense intervention," Stuart said.

Longitudinal scores draw comparisons between scores from one year to the next and were good in reading and math, she said.