The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, June 24, 1993, Page PAGE 7-A, Image 7
Brunswick Writing Scores Vary By Site, Grade, Writing Mode BY SUSAN USHER Brunswick County fourth- and cighth-grailc students came close to scoring at the state norm for compo sition on end-of-grade writing tests, while local sixth-graders performed lower than the state average. County eighth grade students fell below the state average in all skill areas (spelling, usage, etc.), while county fourth and sixth grade stu dents posted scores that averaged just short of the state norm. This was the first year fourth graders participated in the North Carolina Writing Assessment, which was administered in February to stu dents in the three grades. Fourth graders were asked to write a personal narrative essay. Sixth graders were tested on de scriptive writing, a type of explana tory writing. Eighth-graders com pleted a point-of-vicw composition, a type of explanatory writing in which the writer focuses on a topic, takes a position and provides rea sons to support that position, follow ing a logical progression. Students' work was scored twice by trained readers. First it was rated on a four-point scale on composition elements such as development of the main idea, use of supporting details, organization and coherence. Those results became part of a "focused holistic score," with a 2.5 or better a good score and the the benchmark for comparison. Using a three-point scale, the es says were also rated on sentence for mation, word usage, spelling and mechanics such as punctuation and capitalization. This analytic score reflected the number of errors made by a student. For example, with 11 or more spelling errors he would get a I, while five or fewer errors would merit a 3. Gloria Talley, public information officer and staff development coor dinator said she watches their pro gress as students advance from fourth through eighth grades, look ing for trends (across the system or on a smaller scale) that could indi cate strengths or weaknesses in how a skill is taught. Then steps can be taken to make sure students show adequate progress in acquiring these essential writing skills. For example, Jean Parker, coordi nator of testing and accountability services, said fourth-grade scores will be shared not only with fourth grade teachers but with third-grade teachers as well. School improve ment teams will also have access to test score data as they plan for the coming year. The overall goal of the testing program is to see progression in ana lytic and and interpretive writing ability from fourth grade to sixth grade to eighth grade and ultimately to 10th grade, when students in English II must be able to write us ing all four modes of writing. Eighth Grade Counlywide 56.6 percent of eighth-graders tested earned a hoi is tic score of 2.5 or better, compared to 54.2 percent across the region, and 57 9 pcrcent state wide. Shallotte Middle had the lowest percentage of eighth-graders scoring at or above state norm. 44.2 percent. Percentages for other schools were Waccamaw Elementary, 57 pcrcent; Lcland Middle, 61.2 percent; and South Brunswick Middle, 66 percent, the highest percentage of any school. However, in the competencies scoring, a greater percentage of Sha llotte Middle students earned 2's and 3's in three of the four areas than was the norm statewide. Wacca maw's percentages were the lowest in the county. Sixth Grade In Brunswick County, 27.4 pcr cent of the sixth graders tested had holistic scores of 2.5 or better, while the regional percentage was 37.4 and the statewide, 41.3. A whopping 63 percent of Wac camaw School sixth graders scored 2.5 or better, with Shallotte Middle's 27.8 the next highest percentage pared to 24 percent statewide and In the skill areas, results were 21.6 percent across the eight south mixed county wide. However, a larg- eastern counties of Region II. er percentage scores 2's and 3's at At Supply Elementary 28 percent Shallotte Middle than statewide in scored at or above 2.5, and at Union three of four areas. Elementary, 26.8 percent scored at Fourth Grade or above the 5 benchmark. Percen Fourth graders across the county tiles were lowest at Bolivia Elcm generally compared well in perfor- cntary, 11, and Waccamaw, 17.8. mance with their peers across South- In the skill areas, Brunswick eastern North Carolina and the state. County students exceeded the state In Brunswick County 21.5 per- averages on usage and mechanics, cent of the fourth-graders tested but dropped below on spelling and achieved a 2.5 or better score, com- sentence usage. PEOPLE IN THE NEWS Local Service Men And Women Receive Recognition Attending School Marine Sgt. Wayne D. Crear re [ ccntly reported for duly at Marine Corps Engineer School at Camp Lc jeunc. Crcar s wife. Rebecca, is the daughter of Melvin and Christine Andrews of Winnabow. A 1986 graduate of Pcmberton (N.J.) High School, Crcar joined the Marines in August 1986. Stationed In Cuba Marine Sgt. Johnny E. Reeves, son of Barbara L. Smith of Route 6, Shallotte, recently reported for duty at Marine Barracks. Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The 1981 graduate of Merritt Island (Fla.) High School joined the Marine Corps in September 1981. Completes Basic Navy Seaman Recruit Ernest A. Benton of Leland recently complet ed basic training at Recruit Training Command. Great Lakes, 111. During the cyclc, recruits are taught general military subjects de signed to prepare them for further academic and on-the-job training in one of the Navy's 85 occupational fields. Studies include seamanship, close -order drill, naval history and first aid. Benton is a 1992 graduate of North Brunswick High School. Gallagher Decorated Navy Petty Officer 1st Class William O. Gallagher recently re ceived the Navy Achievement Me dal. Gallagher's wife Debra is the daughter of Billy L. and Dorothy L. Buchanan of Leland. Gallagher was cited for superior performance of duty while serving Davis Jewelry and Gfs Beautiful Jewelry at Half Price 117 Causeway Dr., Ocean Isle Bsach?579-8800 Mon-Sat. 10-6 ^ TST AIR FARE SALE From Wilmington to... New York City $175* Boston or Detroit $203* Chicago $238* Dallas $287* Phoenix $350* Las Vegas or Los Angeles $371* AND MANY OTHER CITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY ALL FARES ARE ROUND TRIP 14-Day Advance Purchase "Applies to travel on Tues., Wed. and Thurs. 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