The following are excerpts from a recent Berkshire Eagle article highlighting the achievement of Massachusetts students on state tests with the help of the Reading First program.
"A federal reading program has helped third-graders at Brayton and Sullivan elementary schools make headway on this month's MCAS test results, according to Title I Coordinator Sally Goodrich.
"Greylock Elementary School's third-graders also performed better on MCAS this year, even though the school was not eligible for the U.S. Department of Education's Reading First program, which is aimed at underperforming schools, said Goodrich.
"‘We did exceptionally well this year,’ added Superintendent James E. Montepare. ‘Sullivan soared past the state's reading averages, Brayton improved and Greylock held its own even without the (Reading First) program. It shows that our reading initiatives are finally taking hold, and we're looking to continue with this great progress.’
"Last week, the state Department of Education released its MCAS test scores for third-graders who took the test May 1. They included 48 students from Sullivan, 56 students from Brayton and 31 students from Greylock.
"Statewide, 94 percent of 71,520 third-graders passed the MCAS reading exam, according to the DOE. Broken down by scoring categories, 63 percent of students attained the proficient level, 31 percent reached needs improvement and 6 percent fell in the warning level.
"For two years, the five-year Reading First program has provided Brayton and Sullivan schools with $400,000 for reading materials, laptops, computer software, reading consultants and teacher coaching by professors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's school of education's psychology program, Goodrich said."
"With the federal funding, Brayton and Sullivan schools have retrained teachers, extended the time for reading and math in classes, created reading intervention teams and monitored students' progress on a weekly or monthly basis depending on the child's needs, Montepare added.
"‘It's a matter of getting kids help early on in their development and lining up our curriculum with the frameworks," Montepare said.
The complete text of this article is available online.
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