Schools start PEAKS testing

Students across Alaska are sitting down for the Performance Evaluation for Alaska’s Schools (PEAKS) test over the course of the next two weeks.

The test, which began on Monday and finishes on April 6, is taken by students from third to ninth grade and is an opportunity to show their understanding of language arts, math and science. Only fourth, eighth and tenth grade classes take the science portion.

Schools across the district are reminding students to eat a full breakfast and arrive to school on time during their testing period.

Last year was the first year that the PEAKS test were administered and those results will serve as a baseline for future testing.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s results came out slightly ahead of the general statewide numbers, both overall and in each individual grade level.Students led the statewide average in English language arts proficiency by more than 7 percent, in mathematics by approximately 5 percent and in science by approximately 4 percent, according to district-specific PEAKS data.

The majority of students are still below proficiency in English and math by the new test’s standards, according to the Department of Education’s districtwide results for the peninsula. Across the grade levels, about 53 percent are below proficiency on English language arts and about 62.7 percent below proficiency in mathematics. The majority of students are proficient in science, however, with 57.5 percent meeting proficiency standards.

According to a release from the district, administrators expect PEAKS scores to rise as students and teachers become more comfortable with the test and its format.

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com.

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