A change in the way testing was done meant lower standardized test scores across Iowa, including in Knoxville. Curriculum Director Jill Van Woerkom told the school board this week that the tests taken last spring were re-normed. That meant students had to answer more questions correctly to be considered proficient as compared to previous years. Superintendent Dr. Randy Flack says that the school district’s slight drops in many test scores were very similar to that of school districts throughout the state. He adds that the school district continues to show growth in proficiency in many categories, something that they hope will be emphasized when the state of Iowa submits an education plan to replace No Child Left Behind.
Pella Schools saw a drop in their standardized test proficiency rating as well. The drops were not very significant, with the largest being a 3.8% drop in math proficiency, and the smallest being a .9% drop in reading proficiency. The district has set new goals for these tests for the 2012-2013 school year. ACT scores in the district averaged the second highest in ten years at 24.7, above the state average of 22.1.