Released back on October 30, some data within the 2006-2007 State of Public Education Report put out by the Guam Public School System is troublesome for one lawmaker. Partial SAT-10 results are included in the document, which includes an array of statistics for the last school year. "First off, said freshman senator Frank Blas, Jr., "I'm kind of curious, I know that the SAT-10 scores were out about a month ago - why hasn't it been released?"
The Republican isn't the only one who was curious as to why SAT-10 results haven't been released. In fact, no such press release of the availability of the report for '06-'07 has ever been made. But according to spokesman Gerry Cruz, there's an explanation for why test scores haven't been formally released just yet, saying, "As far as not being released, we want to give courtesy to the Guam Education Policy Board members and our school leaders the first chance to look at the scores as they're presented district-wide."
In the report, three areas of the SAT-10 have been analyzed - reading, math and language. And according to Senator Blas, some of those scores in comparison to years past have worsened. Citing first performance in Grade One language, the policymaker said, "In School Year 2002-2003, there were there were 60% of those kids tested that were below basic and at basic level. In 2006-2007, that number rose to 91%." He also said such results "really makes me question direct instruction."
In contrast to the lawmaker, Cruz says it's improper to compare the most recent SAT-10 scores with previous years of testing results. He said, "Anytime scores go up or down there's cause for concern because that's where you use the SAT-10 as a tool to prepare your curriculum for the following year. You might have cohort class in '06-'07 that was very good, but the year before that there was a cohort class that was not so good. So you don't measure kids to previous years. You measure them as they improve and follow the cohort class."
According to Page 80 of the superintendent's report, one of the major goals stated in the District Action Plan is "By the end of School Year 2008-2009, using SAT-9 2002 scores as the baseline data, at least 50% of students in the grades tested will reach the 50th percentile in reading math and language arts." Senator Blas however, is skeptical GPSS will be able to meet that goal. "Based on the figures here, you know we're very far from being able to meet those goals," he said.
Spokesman Cruz says GPSS should be done compiling all of the SAT-10 data to disseminate to the public by next week.