State writing scores show improvement

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) _ Nebraska students showed improvement in this year's statewide writing proficiency test.

Nebraska Education Commissioner Roger Breed announced Friday that 66 percent of 8th graders met or exceeded state standards, a 2 percent increase over the previous year. Breed says 68 percent of 11th graders met or exceeded standards, a 6 percent increase from last year.

The results also show that 68 percent of 4th graders met or exceed the standards. This year marked the first time those students were given a new and more rigorous test.

Gering Superintendent Don Hague says he was pleased the district's scores showed improvement and were above the state average. Hague says the scores indicate what they are doing is working and they should be cautious about making any changes.

Scottsbluff Superintendent Rick Myles says he was pleased that three-quarters of the district's students were found proficient in writing. The Middle and High school student's average score was just above the state average, but the elementary schools' scores varied, with Roosevelt and Lake Minatare both scoring below the state average. Myles notes the sample size is small and the district will monitor to determine if the scores are a trend rather than get overly concerned or ecstatic about one year's scores.

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