Results from annual statewide tests showed that 64.25% of Gorham students scored at or above state expectations in English (ELA/Literacy) compared to a state average of 52.58%. In Math, Gorham results were 50.76%, compared to 38.54% statewide, and 70.88% of Gorham students met or exceeded the state standard in Science. The percentage of all Maine students meeting Science standards was 61.07%.
“We continue to be very proud of our educators and efforts of our students,” said Chris Record, Assistant Superintendent for the Gorham School Department. “Overall our district improved by 5% in the number of students meeting standards in ELA, dipped by less than half a percent for Math, and increased a small percentage in the number of students meeting Science standard.
Results for high school students are based on 11th grade students’ SAT scores. Although Gorham students maintained or slightly exceeded results in Science and ELA for 2015-16, there was a 10% drop in scores in Math. This meant that ten percent fewer 11th grade students met the standard as determined by the State. “These scores, however, are just a snapshot,” explained Record. “Each junior class is different.” As for state rankings, he said comparisons with schools in this region of comparable size produces a more accurate assessment than a statewide ranking system.
GHS principal Brian Jandreau believes that “using a test like the SAT, which is designed to assess college readiness, as an assessment to determine whether students are proficient is inappropriate,” as that kind of testing is not meant to indicate what a student knows, but rather to compare his/her knowledge to other students.
All three elementary schools saw an increase in students meeting state expectations for Science. Results for Narragansett and Village schools in English were higher than in the 2015-16 school year. Although there was a significant increase in Great Falls’ students meeting expectations in Science, there was a decline in students meeting Math standards. The percentage of students in the Gorham Middle School testing higher was greater in English and Math than in 2015-16, but the numbers in Science dropped from 83% to 72%. Students in third through eighth grades are tested yearly.
“While important, all state assessments are just one measure at a point in time of our students’ knowledge and skills,” Record said. “We also focus on formative and summative assessments that occur in every classroom to guide us in improving our teaching and improving our learning.”