In a preliminary report of the most recent SAT10 results, it looks like the Guahan Academy Charter School students, at least from the first to third grade, scored higher than students from the Guam Department of Education.
Guam – The Guahan Academy Charter School released the preliminary report of their student’s SAT10 results for school year 2014-2015. The findings are staggering. It shows that although the student scores fall below national average, when compared to the Guam Department of Education students, they outwit their counterparts.
Independent Evaluator Dr. Velma Sablan says, “The excitement has come because the 2014-2015 SAT10 administration for first, second, and third were significantly higher than other schools across the island the last time the SAT10 was administered to them.”
However, since GDOE transitioned to ACT Aspire last school year, independent evaluator Dr. Velma Sablan explains that she had to compare GACS 2014-2015 SAT10 results to GDOE’s 2012-2013 SAT10 results.
“The students in first grade were at the 35th percentile, so if you look closely at this, these are the individual schools and these are the percentile ranks that each of the schools got. This is the aggregate, DOE is at 26, with the national average of 50, and GACS is at 35th percentile,” she says.
GACS first graders did better overall than the GDOE first graders in overall SAT10 scores. They were only exceeded by LBJ Elementary School and Carbullido Elementary School. For second grade, DOE’s overall percentile was at 19, while GACS was at 36. For third grade, DOE’s percentile was at 16, while GACS was in the 36th percentile. We asked if this is an accurate measure of student performance given the fact that the GACS scores are compared to GDOE’s scores from two years ago.
Sablan answers, “Absolutely not. I mean any assessment expert would say ‘two years ago it was different, the norm reference was difference’ but when we look at data, we always do comparisons, for example, the average weight of babies here at 6 to 7 lbs, the average in the states is 7 to 8 lbs, is that comparison fair? No, but why do we make that comparison? because we want to keep developing good prenatal care so comparing data even though it may have been from two years ago still gives us insight to see if what we’re doing is working.”
Sablan explains that in her findings, students are entering first grade with skills in word reading and reading comprehension, but these skills appear to deteriorate by the third grade. She also suggests that GACS should strengthen their Math program. Sablan says since GACS is in the process of obtaining the 2013-2014 SAT10 results from the previous evaluator, last school year’s results might be the baseline for future comparisons.
She also recommends the use of SAT10 tests should continue to be used by GACS. “With Guam DOE moving to the elimination of SAT10 from the process of assessing progress in our schools, they’re relying on criterion reference testing is wonderful, however, the elimination of SAT10 should’ve been discussed more. When I saw they moved to ACT Aspire I was thrilled because we’ll be assessing what we’re teaching but at the same time, I think there is a place for us to continue monitoring our progress in comparison to US schools, I think there’s a place for that but if we’re going to invest all that money and time, it may not necessarily be a recommendation I would make,” Sablan says.
Sablan explains that this is only the preliminary findings and only includes first to third grade. The final results will be announced at the end of the month.