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Published: Wednesday, 10/24/2001

Sanders lauds boost in 3 schools' scores

Toledo Public Schools has a new constellation of rising stars.

Dr. Eugene Sanders, district superintendent, recognized the success of three elementary schools yesterday in improving scores on fourth and sixth-grade state-mandated proficiency tests. He added three others to a program designed to boost such scores.

“There have been some significant gains at this school that we would like to replicate,” Dr. Sanders told pupils at Larchmont Elementary School, 1515 Slater St.

The school's test scores improved after taking part in Project STAR, which stands for Striving Toward Academic Reform.

Dr. Sanders initiated the program at eight elementary schools last year. The district spent about $350,000 on the program to boost teacher development, tutoring, and resources.

Now Larchmont and two other STAR schools - Edgewater, 5549 Edgewater Dr., and Mount Vernon, 825 North Byrne Rd. - will move to a new category, STAR PLUS, under which they will receive funding to help sustain the success.

Based on a statistical analysis of proficiency tests, three schools will be added to Project STAR. They are Spring, 730 Spring St.; Stewart, 707 Avondale Ave., and Whittier, 4215 Walker Ave.

They join Longfellow, 4112 Jackman Rd.; Arlington, 700 Toronto Ave.; Nathan Hale, 1800 Upton Ave.; Pickett, 1144 Blum St., and Sherman, 731 Sherman St.

“There is solid evidence that the process works, and the evidence is right here,” Craig Cotner, assistant superintendent, told the group at Larchmont.

The number of sixth graders who passed all five proficiency tests at the school rose from 8 percent to 24 percent. For fourth graders, the number went from 4 percent to 28 percent, officials said.

The school of about 360 pupils received almost $42,000 last year as part of Project STAR. It went mainly toward staff development and supplemental materials, such as workbooks, Principal Jeffrey Hanthorn said.

“We have always been focused on learning,” he said. “The difference is the way we look at what we're teaching.”

Toledo Public Schools saw its overall passing rate on the fourth-grade proficiency tests rise this year, but it remained behind the state average.

The district is categorized as an “academic emergency” for meeting five of the standards in the state's rating system. To reach “continuous improvement” status, 14 standards must be met



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