Westfield Board of Education Discusses Standardized Test Scores and Policies

(left to right) Ann Cary, Gretchan Ohlig and Brendan Galligan. Credits: Alexandria Addesso
Board of Education Credits: Alexandria Addesso
Paul Pineiro Credits: Alexandria Addesso
(left to right) Mark Gillespie,Richard Mattessich and Kristin Hauge Credits: Alexandria Addesso

WESTFIELD, NJ -- High scores on standardized tests and policies were discussed the Nov. 12 Board of Education Meeting.

Paul Pineiro, assistant superintendent of curriculum, gave a presentation about  the Westfield Public Schools’ 2013 testing results. Pineiro showed the district’s scores from grades three to 12  in comparison to its district factor group, “District I”, as well as the state. The district factor group refers to classification of school districts with similar levels of affluence and parent education.

“The district continues to do very well compared to our district peers and the state," said Pineiro.

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In English Language Arts, changed in 2013 from it’s original name Language Arts Literacy, from grades three to eight Westfield students did better than their district factor group and the state in terms of total passing percentage. Students at Westfield High did about the same as their district factor group and above the state in percent of total passing. But when it came to advanced proficiency in ELA the high school did almost 15 percent better than their peers.

In mathematics Westfield students, on average, scored higher than their district factor group and the state except for eighth grade, in which they scored equally with their peers.

The presentation also covered the average SAT scores of WHS students in comparison to average scores of the state and nation. In Critical Reading WHS scores were almost 70 points higher than the state and the nation. In Math WHS students scored 75 points higher than the state on average and 83 points higher than the nation. This pattern was also mirrored in the Writing section in which WHS did 78 points higher than the state and 90 points higher than the average scores of the rest of the nation.

Seven WHS students got perfect scores on their SAT scores in different sections of the test. Two of these students attended the meeting and were presented with awards by board president Richard Mattessich. Kristin Hauge got a perfect score in the Chemistry and Writing sections and Mark Gillespie got a perfect score in Reading, Chemistry, Writing and US History. Both students are National Merit Semi-finalists and maintained a 4.0 grade point average at WHS.

“Congratulations everyone,” said Mattessich.

The board spent a large portion of the meeting discussing policies. They first approved the 2014-2015 school calendar. School will start on Sept. 3 next year and will end on June 22, for students. The full calendar will be on the district website on Nov. 13.

Also accomplished while discussing policies was the elimination of the duties of the treasurer of school monies. The board also discussed making changes to the Goals section of the School District Objectives being that they haven’t been updated since 2000. The 2330 Homework Policy also was heavily discussed though not changed. Section four that dealt with an amount of time students should spend on homework according to grade level was thoroughly discussed before the board came to the conclusion to leave it be.

“Quantifying it is somewhat arbitrary,” said Rosanne Kurstedt.

The next board meeting will be on Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at 302 Elm St.

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