Gahanna-Jefferson school district leaders say they're pleased with the overall performance of students on tests taken during the 2014-15 school year.

Gahanna-Jefferson school district leaders say they're pleased with the overall performance of students on tests taken during the 2014-15 school year.

New state tests in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies were administered, with math and English language-arts tests produced by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

Ohio was a PARCC member until July 1.

Future tests in these subjects will be Ohio-specific tests developed by state educators with the American Institutes for Research. The science and social-studies tests will continue to be Ohio-specific tests developed by state educators in cooperation with AIR.

Jill Elliott, the district's assessment coordinator, said the preliminary data released Nov. 20 still are being reviewed and validated.

"Overall, besides history and government, we were pleased with our results," she said. "We outperformed many central Ohio districts, and we were above state average in most areas, with the exception of American history and government."

Test results showed 35 percent of G-J students proficient or above in high school American government, and 60 percent students are proficient or above on the American history test,.

Statewide, 67 percent were proficient in American government, and 59 percent were proficient in American history.

"In general, American government and history scores were low across the state," Elliott said. "We didn't get results back until most had graduated and kids went off to college and started a career path. We had a few students who didn't take those tests."

Interim Superintendent Scott Schmidt said the district scores a zero for those students who didn't take the test, affecting overall percentages.

Last year's tests included questions that required students to interact with objects, respond to multiple parts of a question, solve problems and explain answers, according to the Ohio Department of Education.

The 2014-15 school year also was the first year for computer-based tests, allowing districts the option to administer tests on computers, on paper or using a combination of both.

Because the tests measure students partly on more complex skills, scores for some students might seem lower than in previous years, according to information from the ODE.

"Teachers prepared for a new set of tests," Schmidt said. "In this situation, the state changed the tests on us, and we'll be in a similar situation next year.

"Overall, we're pleased with results. We're seeing the (results of) work students and staff put in preparing for the tests."

Schmidt said the district has teachers who really care and families who put forth effort to make students successful.

"Our curriculum department is looking at updated testing criteria, and we'll do our best to prepare for next year," he said. "We hope to have data in a timely manner next year and have years of data rather than one quick snapshot."

The preliminary results shouldn't be compared to the previous Ohio Achievement Assessments and Ohio Graduation Tests scores because the test result data are from new tests with greater expectations, according to state officials.

"Day to day, we stay the course and make instruction decisions on areas that need growth like we would any other time," Elliott said.

Preliminary results for G-J students scoring at a proficient level or above in English language arts were 87 percent, fourth grade; 82 percent, fifth grade and sixth grade; 83 percent, seventh grade; 85 percent, eighth grade; and 90 percent, ninth grade.

The state averages were 72 percent, fourth grade; 70 percent, fifth and sixth grade; 68 percent, seventh grade; 68 percent eighth grade; and 73 percent, ninth grade.

G-J students scoring proficient or above on math tests were 75 percent, third grade; 78 percent, fourth grade; 80 percent, fifth grade; 76 percent, sixth grade; 79 percent, seventh grade; and 71 percent, eighth grade.

Statewide, figures were 66 percent, third grade; 65 percent, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh grades; and 53 percent, eighth grade.

On specific subjects, 81 percent of G-J students were proficient in Algebra I and 98 percent in geometry.

Statewide, figures were 66 percent and 90 percent, respectively.

On state science tests, the percentage of G-J students scoring proficient or above were 80 percent, fifth grade; 77 percent, eighth grade; and 8 percent, high school physical science.

Statewide, figures were 59 percent, 61 percent and 66 percent, respectively.

In the area of social studies, not including high school American government and history, G-J students scoring proficient or above were 87 percent, fourth grade, and 76 percent, sixth grade.

Statewide, figures were 70 percent and 56 percent, respectively.

For complete preliminary test result data, go to education.ohio.gov.