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For Immediate Release — September 28, 2010 | HQ
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officers | (703) 588-3260
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officers | (703) 588-3265

ARLINGTON, VA — September 28, 2010 — Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) students made gains in all subject areas assessed on the 2010 TerraNova, Third Edition, Multiple Assessments standardized norm-referenced test (TerraNova 3).

The 2010 test results show that DoDEA students in grades 3 – 11 scored substantially higher than the national average (50th percentile) in all subject areas – Reading, Language, Math, Science, and Social Studies. On 43 of 45 subtests, DoDEA students scored 10-25 percentile points above the national average. In addition, students scored 7 and 9 percentile points respectively above the national average on the remaining 2 of the 45 subtests.

In 2009, DoDEA students were tested using the TerraNova 3 for the first time to establish the new baseline for the system to facilitate comparison of student achievement on the assessment from one year to the next. When compared to the 2009 baseline, DoDEA’s 2010 TerraNova 3 test results show that 27 subtest scores increased, 13 subtest scores remained the same, and 5 subtest scores decreased. (See Table 1)

“We’re taking a fresh look at the factors that influence student achievement, including such indicators as graduation requirements, course offerings particularly in mathematics, course requirements and enhanced and supporting learning experiences at the upper grades. At the early grades, we have begun to make changes in areas deemed influential in improving student performance such as reducing class size in kindergarten to 18 to 1 and adopting researched-based, standards-driven curriculum. DoDEA also launched a new English and Language Arts curriculum which includes age-appropriate assessments to help teachers and parents gauge the progress of students and identify age-appropriate intervention strategies to ameliorate gaps,” said Marilee Fitzgerald, Acting DoDEA Director.

Ms. Fitzgerald went on to point out that DoDEA will strive to build rigor in its curriculum and work to challenge students in the classroom.

“Our students deserve the most inspiring, rigorous and relevant learning environments so that each one of them can achieve their best. Our entire system, from our educators to our senior leaders, is committed to this goal. We are fortunate to have a supportive and committed parent and military leadership community as our partners on this journey.”

TerraNova 3 is a standardized, norm-referenced achievement test developed by CTB/McGraw-Hill. Student scores are compared to scores from a “norms group” of students, which is a national sample of students representing all gender, racial, economic, and geographic groups. Each year, DoDEA administers TerraNova 3 in the spring to all students in grades 3-11, except for those students who are approved for an alternative assessment.

TerraNova 3 contains a battery of questions designed to assess specific skills in each core subject area. Questions on the test are focused on contemporary, rigorous, and relevant content that maintains student interest and motivates them to do their best. Test items reflect higher-order thinking skills and depth of knowledge, making educators better able to evaluate student performance on more challenging levels of thinking and problem-solving skills.

The 2010 TerraNova 3 results also indicated that DoDEA is moving toward its goal of having 75% of all students performing in the top two national percentile quarters on a standardized, norm-referenced assessment and of having 7% or fewer of the students performing in the bottom quarter. These benchmarks were established in DoDEA’s 2006-2011 Community Strategic Plan (CSP). The DoDEA CSP requires the reporting of student data by the percent of students within each national percentile quarter to ensure a more accurate assessment of academic achievement for all students. (See Tables 2 and 3.)

TerraNova, Third Edition, Multiple Assessments is one of several system-wide assessments DoDEA administers to measure student performance. The results of these assessments allow inferences to be made about student achievement and provide a source of information for DoDEA leadership regarding programs and services being provided to our students. Results of these assessments help teachers determine the strengths and needs of students as they plan and implement their instructional program to better address the individual needs of their students. The TerraNova provides accountability for DoDEA administrators and teachers to help ensure all students are achieving at their highest potential. The TerraNova results also help parents understand and track the academic progress their student is making compared to the to their state-side peers.

Attached are detailed tables with overall student performance for DoDEA and Area-specific results for DoDEA schools in our overseas and U.S. locations.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 educational programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a rigorous, high-quality, public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, and the United States as well as on military installations in Cuba, Guam and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to local education activities throughout the U.S. that serve children of military families.

DoDEA HQ Office of Communications

4800 Mark Center Dr.
Alexandria, VA 22350-1400

The DoDEA Communications Office initiates and manages DoDEA's communications and outreach efforts worldwide. The office coordinates press relations, internal information programs and communication with students, parents, teachers, school administrators and the public.

The HQ Communications Office:

Issues news releases and media advisories about DoDEA initiatives, employees and programs Produces video and television promotional and informational products marketed worldwide Maintains the DoDEA web site Designs printed promotional and informational material and graphic artwork to accompany publications, promotions and initiatives

Area Communications Offices: