Pickerington Local School District officials last week said recent results from state assessment tests show local students are performing well.

Pickerington Local School District officials last week said recent results from state assessment tests show local students are performing well.

Last spring, Pickerington students took state-required Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests in English and math, as well as American Institutes for Research science and social studies tests.

Pickerington Superintendent Valerie Browing-Thompson said tests show local students are outperforming many of their peers.

"Overall, Pickerington Schools performed well on these state assessments, exceeding the state average at almost every level at both the district and individual school levels," Browning-Thompson said.

Pickerington students scored higher than the state average in fifth-grade science, with a proficiency rate of 65.8 percent vs. the state average of 61.6.

They also were above the state average in high school physical science, by a rate of 78.9 vs. 67.6.

Other areas where Pickerington students beat the state average included:

* Fourth-grade social studies (79.8 vs. 72.7).

* Sixth-grade social studies (70.9 vs. 58.7).

* Third-grade math (85.4 vs. 68.1).

* Fourth-grade math (86.4 vs. 66.7).

* Fifth-grade math (80.2 vs. 67.5).

* Sixth-grade math (80.4 vs. 67.3).

* Seventh-grade math (67.7 vs. 66.9).

* Algebra I (77.2 vs. 67.4).

* Geometry (94 vs. 90.5).

"Especially in grades 3-6, we believe the progress can be attributed to enhancements in our math curriculum that have been implemented over the past few years," said David Ball, the Pickerington Local School District's public relations director.

"We also have increased the amount of instructional time devoted to math in K-6."

English language arts were another area in which the district fared well.

According to data from the Ohio Department of Education, the district outperformed the state average in each of the following English language arts areas:

* Fourth-grade (83.5 vs. 73.3).

* Fifth-grade (81.3 vs. 70.9).

* Sixth-grade (85.7 vs. 71.7).

* Seventh-grade (76.7 vs. 69.8).

* Eighth-grade (73.6 vs. 69.4).

* Ninth-grade (87.1 vs. 75.7).

Pickerington students were less proficient than the state average in eighth-grade science (56.6 vs. 63.5) and high school American history (68.2 vs. 68.6).

They also scored lower than the state average in Principles of Democracy (42.9 vs. 60.4) and eighth-grade math (45.8 vs. 54.7)

Ball noted test scores for Principles of Democracy didn't count toward grades or graduation, and students might not have had a "vested interest" in that portion of the testing.

He said lower scores in eighth-grade science and math might have been impacted by a number of eighth-grade students who took high-school level science and math.

Those students didn't take the eighth-grade assessments.

Ball said the district hopes increasing teacher work days from 7.5 hours to 8 hours will boost student proficiency.

He said work is being done to make sure the science curriculum is more "vertically aligned" to ensure instruction in that subject follows "a logical progression from kindergarten through 12th grade."