The New York State tests aren't the only measures of academic success. While admitting that there is still on the 2012 Math and English Language Arts exams, the Malverne school district reports that its students made great strides during the 2011-2012 school year.
The district administered 172 Advanced Placement exams this year and 59 percent of students who took these tests scored a 3 or higher, a significant increase from only 14 percent reaching the same level in 2008. The number of students who achieved top scores of 4 or 5 on the AP exams also dramatically rose from 4 percent in 2008 to 30 percent in 2012, an overall increase of more than 700 percent during this time period. the College Board recognized the district's Advanced Placement program by awarding Malverne High School with “Recognition of Excellence.”
Malverne also saw positive academic growth on the New York Regents exam results. There was a 27 percent increase in the number of students passing the Algebra 2/Trigonometry Regents exam, as 70 percent of students passed, compared to only 43 percent just two years ago. The number of students passing the English Regents exam increased from 76 percent in 2009-2010 to 93 percent in 2011-2012, while the number of students passing the Geometry Regents examination during that same time period rose from 63 to 80 percent.
The Class of 2012 also set a record for Malverne High School as 96 percent of graduates this year earned a Regents diploma.
And although the district does have much room for improvement on the New York State assessments -- nearly half of its third, seventh and eighth graders failed their ELA exams, for example -- overall, its scores did increase slightly from last year. The percentage of students in Grades 4 and 8 who passed the exam improved from last year. On the math assessment, 81.8 percent of fourth-graders and 88.5* percent of eighth-graders received passing scores, an increase from 78 and 86.5 percent, respectively, in 2010-2011.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jim Hunderfund said, “I am extremely proud of Malverne students for their continued effort in achieving at their highest potential. It is important for us to focus on the overall positive trajectory that our district has seen over the past several years. While there is certainly still room for growth for higher student performance on state assessments and other exams, I am encouraged by the trends our district has realized. In time, I am confident that this will lead to a greater percentage of students not only passing, but excelling on state assessments.”
In addition to academic growth, school officials say the district has seen a positive change in student character development, as well. District statistics show that Malverne students are becoming more involved in pro-social volunteerism and school organizations. District administrators have also seen a significant decrease in the suspension rates at both the middle school and high school (a decrease of 58 and 70 percent, respectively), which they believe is a direct result of the district’s character education program that was implemented several years ago.
“As we move forward, Malverne administrators, teachers and staff will continue to work with students on developing their full academic potential, as well as emphasize the importance of character education,” Dr. Hunderfund stated. “Over the past four years, we have made great progress, and I look forward to continuing in this direction.”
*This stat has been revised to reflect the correct percentage of eighth graders who passed the Math assessment.