Nashua looks at steady decline in test scores
For the past five years, Nashua’s scores on the New England Common Assessment Program tests have been lagging behind state averages, and the gap has been widening.
Assistant Superintendent Jen Seusing presented a summary of test score data to the Board of Education that showed Nashua students at all levels slipping. Last year, 50 percent of eighth-grade students scored proficient in math, while 24 percent of 11th-grade students scored proficient or proficient with distinction.
“Obviously we have concerns about these results,” said Superintendent Mark Conrad. “We wanted to let you know what we are doing.”
For elementary and middle school students, Seusing presented test scores starting back in 2005, when the percent of Nashua students with the highest scores was consistently several points higher than state percentages in math, reading and writing.
Conrad said a loss of curriculum specialists and changes in curriculum may be behind some of the lost ground.
“We saw a lot of kids coming in stressed, and a lot more kids in transition,” said Oden, a former first grade teacher at Amherst Elementary School.
Seusing also presented a list of action steps for all grades, such as infusing more math throughout all subjects, and teaching math for longer amounts of time.