ITBS Scores Are In!

For more information contact:
Greg Arnsdorff (912) 754-5508
Travis Nesmith (912) 754-5636

Recently released test scores show that Effingham County students surpassed national averages on the fall administration of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS). The school district administered the ITBS to students in grades 3, 5, and 8 on October 5 – 9. Effingham third graders had a composite score average of 75th percentile, which means Effingham third graders scored equal to or better than 75 percent of all other third grade students who participated in the ITBS nationwide. Composite scores for fifth graders ranked in the 69th percentile nationally while eighth graders scored in the 57th percentile.

The purpose of the ITBS is to obtain information about how the performance of Effingham County students compares with that of other students across the nation. While the District concentrates most of its testing resources and attention on the high-stakes statewide Criterion Reference Competency Test (CRCT), the ITBS provides valuable data about how Effingham students compare nationally, and in what specific areas students may need additional help. ITBS results are particularly helpful in identifying reading or math skills where students may need additional instruction. By administering the test in the fall, teachers then have time to work with students before spring CRCT testing begins.

Core subjects tested by the ITBS include reading, math, and language arts. A Core Total score is the combined scores for each of the core content areas tested. In Effingham County, third graders’ scored best in the area of Sources of Information where they scored in the 76th percentile. Although not a part of the core total score, third grade students scored in the 73rd and 71st percentiles in Social Studies and Science respectively. Effingham County fifth graders scored in the 68th percentile in the core areas of Reading and the 67th percentile in Language Arts and 69th percentile in Math. Eighth grades students performed highest in the core area of Language Arts with a 58th percentile score. The highest overall tested area was Science with a 61th percentile score in eighth grade.

The ITBS is a norm-referenced test that ranks student performance according to percentiles. For example, a student in the 75th percentile scored equal to or better than 75 percent of all students across the nation who participated in the ITBS at the same grade level. Also reported are national stanines. National stanines are reported as a single digit number. Stanines range from a low of 1 to a high of 9. The rankings below are provided by the testing company in order to better review system performance.

Stanine Performance Descriptor
9 high
8 well above average
7 above average
6 somewhat above average
5 average
4 somewhat below average
3 below average
2 well below average
1 low
In reporting the results to the Board of Education Greg Arnsdorff, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction and Technology, stated,
“Effingham County student performance continued to edge higher in 21 of the 24 tested content areas. In both third and fifth grades, students have consistently scored somewhat above average in the core and composite totals for the last four years. Eighth grade is also very consistent with only minor decreases in the area of language arts and sources of information. However, eighth grade scores still indicate performance on average with all other eighth grade students administered the ITBS in the nation.

The results speak to what I believe is a focused and constant approach to instruction. Our teachers and building leadership continue to review student performance data to tweak any weakness in the instructional program as evidenced by each school’s improvement plan. Effingham County students are consistently performing at or above the national average across the board in grades three, five and eight.”

Scores are provided in both a System Summary chart and individual School Report.