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ITBS Scores Soar for 8th Graders on Standardized Tests

This year’s eighth-grade class, Nativity’s Class of 2012, set a high mark for excellence on their fall standardized test scores. Each year, twice a year (in fall and spring) Nativity students in all three grades complete the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, a nationally-normed test that assesses their knowledge base in reading, language (writing), mathematics, science, and maps and diagrams skills. And each year, our students tend to do very well, with the greatest average achievement gains occurring after the transition from sixth to seventh grade.

Students from the Class of 2013 who scored at or above 80th percentile nationally in science (from left to right, top to bottom): Bryan Avalos (90th %'le), Jonathan Martinez (80th) , Adrian Alcazar (93rd), Angelica Vera (99th), Christina Abarca (80th).

This year’s eighth graders, however, exceeded the ITBS benchmarks set by previous classes for pre-year testing achievement. 90% (18/20) of them tested at or above grade-level in science; and of the 18 who did, five of them earned grade-equivalent scores of 13+, above high-school-grade level. There were also four additional students in the eighth-grade class who scored slightly higher than the 11th-grade level (11.3) on the same pre-year ITBS science assessment. Overall, the students in our current-year eighth-grade class averaged above the tenth-grade level (10.6) for science. As a class, they also achieved above-grade-level averages for all of their pre-year assessment—in Reading (8.7), Language (11.1), Mathematics (10.0), and Maps and Diagrams (9.7). Their year-end, spring (May) scores should be even higher.

The normed average in October for all eighth graders taking the ITBS nationally is 8.0—that is, the start of the eighth-grade year. A score of “8.0” on fall testing denotes that a student (or a class) is where he or she (or they) should be. Scores above 8.0 on pre-year testing denote greater gains in achievement. The degree to which our current eighth graders outperformed other students their age nationally on all parts of the fall ITBS is remarkable, especially given that this same class entered Nativity as sixth graders just over two years ago below grade level in reading and in language. Their overall achievement gains since then, in the past two years, speak volumes about their dedication to learning and to our teachers’ commitment to our students’ success. Our current eighth-grade students have in the past two years made 3.4 years of progress in reading, better than five years (5.3) of progress in language, better than three years (3.3) in math, and better than four years (4.1) in science.

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