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|Abingdon Looking to Improve Test Scores
|Officials at Abingdon High School are taking a close look at the schedule as efforts continue to bring up scores on standardized tests.
Abingdon's high school juniors who took the Prairie State Achievement Exam scored low in math on the 2007-08 test. Only 39% met or exceeded state standards, well short of the benchmark of meeting Adequate Yearly Progress.
Principal Chad Cox told the school board Wednesday night that the school will maintain the eight-block schedule for all courses during the 2009-10 school year, but because of concerns over low math scores and student reading skills, he's collecting data to determine whether the existing schedule should stay or if officials should switch to a modified block schedule, a combination of the two or change how the existing schedule is taught.
Cox tells WGIL one of the approaches being used to improve math scores is exposing students more to the subject. "An effect is, we went to a 'Freaky Friday' is what we call is," Cox said. "The name is kind of funny and the students got a kick out of it, but (students) do see all eight teachers in one day. So, what it has done is it increased the instructional time, and also the connection between the teacher and the student -- one more visit for the regular week. That was kind of a shock to the system, so we have kind of modified (the schedule) a little bit."
Cox says he's researching schools that use the modified block schedule, a mix of block and traditional scheduling which involves longer blocks of time for non-core courses meeting every other day coupled with shorter blocks of time for core courses that meet daily. He's also examining how the high school's math teachers are using their time within the eight-block schedule.
Cox says next year he plans to set up site visits at high schools in Illinois that use the modified block and/or traditional scheduling to address weaknesses in the core areas of math and English before deciding which schedule to adopt for the 2010-11 school year.
|04 08 09 by Newsroom
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