District students have apparent banner year on state assessment tests
Preliminary test results suggest the 2004 academic year might be Eudora USD 491's strongest since the introduction of state assessment tests.
Eudora Superintendent Marty Kobza released the unofficial results of tests taken this spring to thunderous applause during Thursday's School Board meeting.
"This is like winning the state championship in six of eight activities," Kobza said.
The preliminary results showed that Eudora students achieved the minimum level of academic progress in all categories and met a standard of excellence in 10-of-11.
Eudora High School also met the standards of excellence in four-of-four categories, Kobza said.
The district uses these figures as a bellwether to see where it stands before the State Department of Education releases the final results of the Adequate Yearly Progress report in October.
A contract testing company at Kansas University makes the preliminary numbers available to the school districts.
Kobza attributed the apparent strong showing of academic strength to the students.
"They really focused and worked well together," Kobza said.
If the results stand, they would be a marked improvement over last year when the district passed minimum levels on all categories but only earned a state level of excellence in seventh-grade math.
It might be too early for the district to use these results as cause to start patting itself on the back.
"When we say they are preliminary, we really mean that they are preliminary," Kansas State Department of Education spokeswoman Kathy Toelkes said.
Toelkes said the reason the preliminary test results were released was so the districts could correct any obvious errors.
She said the state education department is still going through the testing materials to see if everything was marked correctly.
The numbers the state will use to determine standards of excellence haven't been determined yet, Toelkes said.
The district derived its numbers from the same formula the state uses, Kobza said.
Official or not, Eudora High School principal Dale Sample is thrilled with the results.
"We're real pleased with the result," Sample said. "It's not official, but we're extremely pleased."
Last year the state only administered three tests. Of those, only 10 schools throughout the state reached levels of excellence in all categories and none of them were 4A schools. To make the standard of excellence is extremely difficult, Sample said.
"It'll be interesting to see what the results are for the rest of the high schools," Sample said.
Like Kobza, Sample believes it was the faculty and students that made this year's success possible.
"I just want to congratulate the students and teachers for their great job," Sample sa