Districts await first round of AMP test scores in October

Oct 8, 2015

If students see lower scores, it's because the more rigorous AMP test is holding students to higher standards, says Dillingham Superintendent Danny Frazier. 

The Alaska Measures of Progress tests were first introduced during the 2014-2015 school year.
Credit Emily Files/KHNS

With results for the first round of ‘Alaska Measures of Progress’ tests due out this month, school districts are bracing for what may be lower test scores than in past years.

The Alaska Measures of Progress tests were rolled out this spring to replace the Standards-Based Assessment, or SBA.

Dillingham City School District Superintendent Danny Frazier says students and parents shouldn’t be discouraged if they see different results on the new test.

"The AMP has a different set of challenges than the SBA’s did," said Frazier. "I would compare the SBAs to playing basketball at the 2A level -- you know, you're going to win most of your games. Then with AMP, you’d be playing at the 3A level, so maybe you wouldn't prevail in as many of your games. 

The AMP results will place students in a level - 1 through 4 - for each subject. Students in levels 3 and 4 will meet the standards, while students in levels 1 and 2 only "partially" meet the standards. 

Preliminary results released this summer show fewer students statewide were proficient in math, English and language arts than the SBA results previously indicated. But the state is emphasizing that these numbers don’t indicate a drop in achievement.

Superintendent Frazier says the more rigorous AMP tests hold students to a higher standard.

"This is the first time our children have seen this test," he says. "And it is harder – they raised the stakes. By next year, we’ll be better prepared, students will be more familiar with the format, and we’ll do better on the test."

Complete AMP results are expected in mid-October. The state department of education says in future years, scores will be released earlier in the fall. 

Contact the author at hannah@kdlg.org.