By Hailey Fox
Charter Newsroom – 11/14/2018
Last year when the students at ACA took the science OAKS test, the 11th graders fell short of the district by 0.2 percent. According to administration, the charter by ACA has a clause that states ACA will always exceed the OCSD (Oregon City School District) in state testing scores.
Since the scores were lower compared to OCSD’s scores, this prompted a School Improvement Plan, which has a variety of strategies the school will implement to try to bring up future scores. Margo Edinger, a K-8 science teacher at ACA, goes into more depth about the science department’s plan. She says, “We found out about this before we went to our science conference, which is National Science Teachers Association. So, we took workshops there and it’s two and a half days of eight to four thirty workshops… We would like to do an ES training probably in January, that would give us time to plan on the new science standards and how to read them, how to implement them.”
A concern students have about testing changes is how it will affect their grades. Sarah Docken a 12th grade (senior) student also confirmed this when asked about grades. However, Docken’s concerns won’t be much of a problem, according to Edinger. When asked about grades Edinger replied with “I don’t think so. It’s not like we’re suddenly going to add really big heavy tests that weren’t there before. We’re changing some of our approach, but it shouldn’t affect grading or the grades…” Denise Monte, a middle school and high school science teacher, adds to the discussion, “I don’t think so, unless of course the students don’t study environmental science. Then I don’t see how we can do anything about that.”
If grades aren’t a problem, then what are the changes going to be? Most changes are still undergoing the process of integration, but one of them has already been added to your classes. According to Edinger, “Hitting vocabulary hard, cause I think some of it may have been they may have not understood the vocabulary used.” Vocabulary was one of the changes that could be easily enforced and can play a big roll in answering questions.
Diana Brainerd, the lead ES and Associate Director of ACA, says “They may receive slightly different instruction in science, but not anything noticeable.” when asked about changes in science classes.
Our school is a solid above average school and falls under a level 4 category, according to the school report card. When being interviewed Edinger said, “The test scores are not just for their information, they’re for us… a lot of people opt out and then we don’t know if the students who really understand this stuff opted out or did we get all the people who needed to take the test?”
Fox, Hailey. “Re: Interview.” Received by Diana Brainerd. Nov. 9, 2018
Docken, Sarah. Personal Interview. Nov. 8, 2018
Edinger, Margo. Personal Interview. Nov. 5, 2018
Monte, Denise. Personal Interview. Nov. 6, 2018
ACA Alliance Charter Academy.alliancecharteracademy.com/resources/ Accessed Nov. 9, 2018