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Trimble County Middle School eighth graders scored at or above state averages in the Kentucky Department of Education’s EXPLORE Assessment administered last fall.
“I am really pleased with the scores,” TCMS Principal Mike Genton said in a telephone interview Friday. “It shows that the teachers and the students have really been putting in a lot of hard work and it paid off.”
EXPLORE is a high school readiness examination designed to help 8th graders explore a broad range of options for their future. The exam assesses four subjects—English, mathematics, reading and science—and provides needs assessments and other components to help students plan for high school and beyond.
In the 2010 administration of the test, 48,250 eigth-grade Kentucky students in 324 public schools took the EXPLORE assessment, according to a KDE news release. The benchmark scores for EXPLORE are: 13 percent or higher on the English Test, 17 percent or higher on the Mathematics Test, 15 percent or higher on the Reading Test and 20 percent or higher on the Science Test.
In English, Trimble scored 13.8 compared to the state average score 13.9. Trimble’s Math score was 15.3 while the state average was 15.2. In Reading, Trimble’s score of 14.2 equaled the state average. Trimble’s Science score of 15.8 was below the 16.3 state average. Trimble’s composite score was 14.9 compared to the state composite of 15.0. The TCMS scores were higher than eighth graders in all neighboring counties with the exception of Eminence Middle School and the four middle schools in Oldham County.
“We were above the national average in all of the areas except one and that was grammar,” Genton said. “They focused on writing from the standpoint of understanding what voice you’re writing in and they took out the basic grammatical skills.”
The percentage of Trimble eighth graders meeting the benchmark in English was 59.2 percent compared to the state average 58.9 percent, in Math 37.7 percent compared with 32.2 percent statewide, in Reading 39.2 percent compared with 39.3 percent statewide, and in Science Trimble students were at 13.8 percent compared to the 13.9 percent state average.
Trimble County High School Principal Buddy Sampson had words of praise for the the ongoing work of the middle school staff, saying their hard work two years ago also contributed to the high scores achieved by high school sophomores on this year’s PLAN assessment (see separate story.)
“The middle school deserves a ton of credit for those scores, especially the eigth-grade team,” Sampson said. “They are obviously focusing some considerable attention on the college readiness standards, or those scores as sophomores would be only a dream.”
See complete details on district and school EXPLORE and PLAN data by visiting the Kentucky Department of Education’s Open House portal at http://openhouse.education.ky.gov/ and accessing the Readiness for College and Career section.