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School officials in Waynesboro pleased with test results

September 19, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Waynesboro students led Franklin County in 2007 state test results that elementary school administrators excitedly shared with the Waynesboro Area School Board on Tuesday.

On the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests, students strive for scores that categorize them as "advanced" or "proficient" to meet federal No Child Left Behind requirements.

The education department refers to "proficient" as being on grade level.

About 72 percent of Waynesboro test-takers reached the advanced/proficient math level in grades three through eight and grade 11. Approximately 68 percent of the same group reached those levels in reading on the springtime test.

"We needed to meet 54 percent in reading and 45 percent in math and did that," said Sherian Diller, director of elementary education.

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Diller was referring to the "adequate yearly progress" benchmarks that must be hit by Pennsylvania's 501 public school districts. The benchmarks increase this year by 9 percent in reading and 11 percent in math.

Statewide, 69.2 percent of students taking the 2007 PSSAs scored proficient or advanced; 67.7 percent scored proficient or advanced in reading.

Students will soon be celebrating the accomplishments, Diller said. The teachers already participated in a game based on "Deal or No Deal" and won prizes for their buildings, she said.

"When you see these numbers, we were like the cheerleaders," Diller said.

"I would like to compliment you on the success you've had," board member Michael Shea said.

While not everyone agrees with No Child Left Behind, he said, Waynesboro has demonstrated "a wonderful example of reworking your techniques ... to overcome the obstacles that were put in place."

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