November 1, 2002 — Standardized test results on the 2002 TerraNova show that in some grades and subject areas Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) Pacific students are already meeting the high student achievement goals established by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Community Strategic Plan (CSP). One DoDEA goal for 2006 states that 75% of all students will perform within the top two national quarters on a system-wide assessment like the TerraNova. Examination of the 45 sub-test scores in all subject areas (Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science) at all grade levels (3–11), reveal that that the goal has already been achieved or exceeded in 18% of the cases. According to Dr. Nancy Bresell, Director, DoDDS Pacific, “DoDEA has set very challenging goals. We are please with our performance at this point in the improvement process, and we are particularly pleased with the performance of secondary school students on the Reading sub-tests, where the goal has been reached in grades 8–11. With our focus on standards-based instruction and the introduction of our 'Leading Learning' initiative, we expect DoDDS Pacific students to make steady progress toward the CSP goals.”
The Community Strategic Plan also established a goal for 2006 that fewer than 8% of students would perform in the bottom quarter of students nationwide (e.g., below the 25th percentile). The DoDDS Pacific 2002 TerraNova results show that students have met or exceeded the goal on 44% of the sub-tests. The DoDDS Pacific Education Chief stated, “This is a significant accomplishment. Nationally 25% of students would score below the 25th percentile, but we have as few as 4% scoring at that level at some grades. These findings are consistent with DoDDS outstanding performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) which has received nationwide media attention.”
For several reasons, TerraNova results from 2002 cannot be compared directly with scores from 2001. In 2002 students took a new version of the TerraNova, and the new test was normed differently than previous editions. Norming is the process through which students’ scores are compared with the scores of a nationally representative sample of students—the norm group. In the past, students tested with accommodations were not included in the norm group. Students tested with accommodations are students with disabilities whose Case Study Committees have determined that they should be tested under special circumstances. For example, students might be give additional testing time. Furthermore, DoDEA has changed its reporting practices to report the results for all students where previously only those tested without accommodations were included. According to the Pacific Assessment/Evaluation Coordinator, “The current national emphasis on accountability has changed the way tests scores are reported. The inclusion of all students in test norms and in the calculation of school and district averages makes it prudent to think of the 2002 scores a new baseline against which to measure our progress toward the goals of the Community Strategic Plan. Next year we will be able to see what progress we have made.”
Percentage of Students Scoring Above the National Average
DoDDS Pacific + Guam
Percentage of Students Scoring Below the 25th Percentile
DoDDS Pacific + Guam
*Values meeting or exceeding the CSP goal are underlined.