Northridge director of teaching and learning Heather Clark said the district still has some work to do to increase proficiency levels of all students based on preliminary results from 2014-15 state tests.

Northridge director of teaching and learning Heather Clark said the district still has some work to do to increase proficiency levels of all students based on preliminary results from 2014-15 state tests.

"But we are confident in our professional-development opportunities, the coaching of our staff, and the curricular and technology resources provided by the district," Clark said.

New state tests in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies were administered, with math and 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.

Clark said preliminary results of high school scores released Nov. 20 are quite positive, with 100 percent of students testing proficient or above in geometry; 92 percent proficient or above in algebra; 89 percent proficient or above in American history; and 81 percent proficient or better in language arts.

"Our fourth-grade social studies also have 81 percent (proficiency), and we also have had great success in both math and reading at the third-grade level," she said.

In the lower grades, Clark said, the data shows the district is weaker in math scores.

The percentage of students testing proficient or better in math were third grade, 81 percent; fourth grade, 54 percent; fifth grade, 51 percent; sixth grade, 59 percent; seventh grade, 66 percent; and eighth grade, 54 percent.

"As a district we are on the second year of new curricular resources in K-12 math and we are confident that we will see positive results from these changes as teachers become more familiar with these materials and students adjust to the new expectations," Clark said. "We have also made some adjustments in teaching roles to try to anticipate areas of strength and weakness in our teaching staff."

She said the district is providing extensive professional development to the faculty this year in assessment literacy and differentiation that also should aid teachers in making instructional decisions based on data to ensure student growth.

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.

Preliminary test results for Northridge students who scored proficient or above in language arts were fourth grade, 68 percent; fifth grade, 69 percent; sixth grade, 61 percent; seventh grade, 61 percent; eighth grade, 69 percent; and ninth grade, 81 percent.

Students scoring proficient or better in science were fifth grade, 61 percent; eighth grade, 75 percent; and high school physical science, 79 percent.

In social studies, 73 percent of sixth-graders scored proficient or better. In high school American government, 63 percent of the students were proficient or above.

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.

Clark said the district would continue to focus on increasing rigor and relevance in daily instruction and meeting educational needs of all students.

"While the tests may have changed the standards have not and our goal as educators in Ohio is to ensure that our students are learning the standards set forth by the state," she said.