Chugiak-Eagle River students outperform district, state peers on Alaska proficiency exams
Chugiak-Eagle River has always seen itself as a separate community from Anchorage, and when it comes to academics area schools certainly stand out.
The area’s dozen public schools outperformed their counterparts in the Anchorage School District on the state’s 2018-19 school year standardized tests in math, English and science, according to results released by the district earlier this month.
And the top test scores in the district were again turned in by Eagle Academy Charter School, which boasted the highest proficiency rates in all three subjects out of more than 90 ASD public schools. The school’s proficiency numbers were especially impressive in math, where 92.93% of students scored either proficient or advanced. That’s more than 10 percentage points higher than second-place Bayshore Elementary and an improvement of 9% over last year — when the school already boasted the most mathematically proficient students in ASD.
The nondescript charter school on Mausel Street also turned in the district’s top advanced/proficient scores in science (84.62%) and English language arts (81.82%).
The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development tests students each spring in grades three through nine in English and math; and students in grades four, eight and 10 in science. The test scores are divided into four levels — advanced, proficient, below proficient and far below proficient.
While the charter school’s test scores were again eye-popping, the K-6 school wasn’t the only one putting up big numbers. Among eight public high schools, Eagle River High had the most proficient/advanced students in math (50.2%) and science (72.41%) and was second only to South High in the number of proficient/advanced English students. ERHS posted big gains over the 2017-18 school year, improving proficiency by more 9% in science, more than 6% in math and more than 4% in English.
Two other local elementary schools — Ravenwood and Birchwood ABC — also finished in the top eight spots among all ASD in both English and math proficiency.
Chugiak High finished third among ASD high schools in math (39.82%) and English (46.12%) and was second to ERHS in the number of advanced or proficient science students at 68.93%.
At the middle school level, Gruening and Mirror Lake were also well above average, with Gruening first among ASD middle schools in science proficiency (70%), second in math (48.6%) and third in English (53.4%). Mirror Lake was also in the top three schools in all three disciplines, with the second-highest proficiency rates in science (67.02%) and English (54.26%) and the third-highest in math (44.9%). Goldenview Middle School had the top scores among middle schools in math and English and was third in science proficiency.
Every school in Chugiak-Eagle River had higher proficient/advanced rates than the district and state in math. In English, only Fire Lake’s proficiency scores lagged behind state and district averages, while in science, Chugiak Elementary and Eagle River Elementary finished slightly below state and district averages.
Socioeconomic factors within the district were evident in the figures, with Caucasian students having the highest percentage of students scoring advanced or proficient on all three tests among all racial groups surveyed. In English, whites scored 57.3% advanced/proficient compared to 31.1% for all other racial groups; in math, 54.1% of whites were advanced/proficient compared to 35.6% for nonwhite and mixed race students; and in science 64.6% of whites were advanced/proficient compared to 32.9% of nonwhite/mixed race students across the state.
One of the biggest determining factors in ASD was economics. Students who were categorized as economically disadvantaged — a little more than half of all test-takers — were twice as likely to score below or far below proficient on all three tests than their non-economically disadvantaged peers.
Students of active duty military were also more proficient than their non-military peers in both English and math across all grade levels.
Test scores dropped statewide in all three disciplines for the third year in a row, a trend that was echoed to a lesser degree in Chugiak-Eagle River, where math and English proficiency fell at six schools and science proficiency dipped at nine. However, some area schools completely bucked the trend, with three schools — Eagle Academy, Gruening and ERHS — increasing their proficiency rates on all three tests.
Statewide, the number of English-proficient students dropped by about 3%, the number of science-proficient students fell by 2.5% and the number of math-proficient students dropped 1%; those numbers were roughly the same in ASD.
For a complete breakdown of the statistics, visit education.alaska.gov