MOUNT VERNON – The Mount Vernon City School District is continuing to raise the bar of student academic achievement as evidenced by another year of remarkable improvements in English language arts and math state test scores for grades 3-8.
According to the district, proficiency rates have dramatically risen in the three years since Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton took over as superintendent of schools during the summer of 2014:
School year – Proficiency rate
2013-14 – 12 percent
2014-15 – 14 percent
2015-16 – 23 percent
2016-17 – 28 percent
School year – Proficiency rate
2013-14 – 15 percent
2014-15 – 13 percent
2015-16 – 16 percent
2016-17 – 22 percent
Dr. Hamilton implemented his 20/20 Vision, the plan designed to improve the quality of instruction, enhance programs and services and close achievement gaps. This initiative ensures that all students receive a rigorous education and develop the necessary skills to prepare them to be model citizens capable of competing in a global society.
The district’s improvements over the past two years far surpassed the statewide score improvements. The district’s ELA proficiency grew 14 percentage points, doubling in two years. In math, the district improved by 9 percentage points in two years. The state grew by 2 percentage points in ELA and 2 percentage points in math for the same time period.
Dr. Hamilton is proud of the accomplishments of his administrators, teachers and students. He also emphasized that although there is a steady trend upward, the district’s overall state test results are still not where they should be and the district is continuing to work hard at improvement through the guidance of the 20/20 Vision.
“We are all very excited to see the continuing trend of data that shows marked improvements across the district,” Dr. Hamilton said. “It is very important to take a moment to acknowledge this success but it is just as important to acknowledge that we are continuing to provide an innovative education that reaches all students in our district so this upward trend will continue along the path to producing student outcomes that are not only acceptable but also honorable.”
“We are pleased to have Dr. Hamilton leading our school district with his 20/20 Vision, strategic direction and thoughtful leadership, which have been inspirational for both our teachers and students,” Adriane G. Saunders, president Board of Education.
“We recognize we definitely have a way to go in terms of student achievement but we are definitely on the right trajectory because of our interventions, our instructional improvements and the way we are looking at individual and group student performance data so that we can ensure that our students are making progress,” said Dr. Claytisha Walden, associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
Dr. Walden said 85 percent of the schools in the district increased their ELA scores from the prior year and 100 percent of the schools increased their math scores. “Our English language learners and our students with disabilities also increased their proficiency rates,” she said.
She attributes the improvements to the district’s response to intervention programs and providing additional supports for students, analysis of the curriculum and making new curriculum choices that include differentiated instruction, which include new instructional techniques, particularly in mathematics. She also said providing extensive professional development for teachers has helped elevate the effectiveness of education in all classrooms.