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DoDEA Announces Results of the 2009 TerraNova Assessment

For Immediate Release — September 10, 2009 | HQ
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3260
: DoDEA Educational Communications Officer | (703) 588-3265

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA — September 10, 2009 — The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) has announced the results of its students' performance on the first administration of the new 2009 TerraNova, Third Edition, Multiple Assessments (TerraNova 3).

Overall, DoDEA's Grade 3 through Grade 11 students scored substantially higher than the national average (50th percentile) in all subject areas (Reading, Language, Math, Science and Social Studies). On 39 of the 45 subtests, DoDEA students scored 10 to 26 percentile points above the national average. Students scored 5 to 9 percentile points above the national average on the remaining 6 subtests.

DoDEA's 2009 TerraNova Multiple Assessments results are based on an updated version of the TerraNova assessment. As with previous editions of the assessment, the TerraNova 3 is a standardized norm-referenced achievement test developed by CTB/McGraw-Hill. On this test, 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 the TerraNova Multiple Assessments in the spring of the school year to all students in Grades 3 through 11, except for those students who have been approved for an alternate assessment.

The "normed" population used in the TerraNova 3 reflects a more current, accurate, and inclusive population than in previous TerraNova versions. Students taking the 2009 test were compared to the Grade 3 through Grade 11 students who took the test as a norms group in 2007. The students who took the TerraNova 2 test in 2008 were compared to a norms group of students who took the test in 2000.

In addition to more recent norms, TerraNova 3 offers more challenging content. The content assesses higher order thinking skills, basic and applied knowledge, and is more relevant to today's students. Reading and language items have been separated to evaluate specific skills of each core area.

"We feel this year's TerraNova results are more reflective of the curriculum and instruction in today's classrooms," said Dr. Shirley Miles, DoDEA Director. "The scores describe how well our students perform as compared to the national average, and, more importantly, they provide superior data for supporting instruction and decision making at the classroom level.

"With the results from the updated TerraNova assessment, we've reset our baseline scores for the DoDEA school system. We will solidify our curriculum programs and continue to strive for increased accountability for highest student achievement," she added.

TerraNova 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 provided to students. Results of these assessments also help teachers determine the strengths and needs of students as they plan and implement their instructional programs to better meet the individual needs of their students. The TerraNova assessment 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 their state-side peers.

Detailed tables with overall student performance for DoDEA and area-specific results for DoDEA schools overseas and in the United States are attached.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for Department of Defense (DoD) dependents who would otherwise not have access to a high-quality, public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, the United States, 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.

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