At the most recent meeting of the Levittown Board of Education Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Robert Davis presented the results of the 4th grade math, the 8th grade math, and the 8th grade English Language Arts exams for last year. According to Davis these test results showed some areas of strength within the district and some areas of weakness which he suggested the district look at and try to improve in the coming years.
Davis compared the results in Levittown to both the county and the state results for these same exams. In comparing Levittown results with the state results Davis looked at percentage of students scoring in levels 3 and 4, which he said is where he would like to see most Levittown students. Level 3 indicates the students at least meet the standards and with continued growth should pass the Regents examination; Level 4, the highest level, indicates that students are exceeding the standards and are moving toward high performance on the Regents examinations. In comparing Levittown's results with the rest of Nassau County, Davis looked at the midpoint of where schools in the county scored.
Statewide, according to Davis, Levittown fared very well, with a higher percentage of Levittown students scoring in Levels 3 and 4. Davis noted that statewide, 65 percent of students scored in Levels 3 and 4 for the 4th grade math test; 40 percent of students scored in Levels 3 and 4 for the 8th grade math test; and 45 percent scored in Levels 3 and 4 on the 8th grade ELA test. In Levittown 80 percent of students scored in Levels 3 and 4; in 8th grade math 58 percent of Levittown students scored in Levels 3 and 4; and in the 8th grade ELA test 54 percent of Levittown students scored in Levels 3 and 4.
With regard to the 8th grade ELA test results, Davis expressed some concern that only 9 percent of the students in Levittown scored in Level 4. "I think that, perhaps, is some weakness," said Davis. He noted that he thought that the district's overall goal should be 65 percent of students scoring in levels 3 and 4.
Davis noted that the district's position over the last couple of years has been to move Levittown scores from better than the state to better than the county. He explained that the first countywide comparison, being 4th grade math results, for Levittown is very strong. Davis said that in this exam, Levittown's scores are significantly higher than the county scores.
In the 8th grade math scores the Levittown school district scored slightly below the county midpoint. Although the average for the district was below the midpoint there was some difference between Salk and Wisdom Lane Middle Schools, with Salk scoring moderately above the midpoint and Wisdom scoring somewhat below the midpoint. Davis noted that with regard to absolute scores for this test, there was only a four point difference between the two middle schools, indicating that a cluster of schools around the county must have fallen into the numbers between the schools to make one school fall below the midpoint and another be above it with only four points difference.
There was also a difference between the two schools in the 8th grade ELA exam but both schools fell below the county midpoint in these results. According to Davis Wisdom fell moderately below the midpoint while Salk only fell slightly below the midpoint, with again only four points separating the two absolute scores.
Davis again stressed that the district is focusing their efforts at this point on raising all the scores to at or above the county level. "It looks like that's the case in the elementary scores in math and the ELA scores received at the end of last year," said Davis. He noted that though last year's high school results were below the county level, the district fully expects them to be at or above the county level this year. He added that the real concern at this point is the middle school scores and suggested that the district take a look at these scores when considering the budget for the coming year. Although he cannot pinpoint why the scores in the middle school are below the county level Davis believes that more time needs to be spent on basic skills in the middle school.
"Overall the scores certainly show movement in the upward direction over the last two years with state results. There's been significant movement over the last dozen years, as we move from the state average to the county average," concluded Davis. "I would like to see the middle school scores be a little bit higher and hopefully we'll be able to talk about that and do something about that in the upcoming years."