The Nebraska Department of Education released the results last week of the state reading, mathematics and science assessments. State writing test results already had been released earlier this year.

Results from the spring 2013 tests show public school students statewide are improving on the Nebraska State Accountability assessments.

Bellevue Public Schools was happy to continue to make progress in the annual scores.

Superintendent Frank Harwood said parents should look at the scores along with indicators of student achievement.

He encouraged BPS parents whose children recently finished grades three through eight, to compare the NeSA results with the Measures of Academic Progress report that was sent home this summer.

Beyond standardized tests, parents also have access to report cards, individual grades on assignments and performance on the district’s internal essential objective exams.

In fact, Harwood said those daily items provide a better picture than state test results.

“I do think parents really do need to look at all of that, the data they get from the school and the state, and then the conversations they have with their student,” Harwood said.

BPS test scores improved in reading, math and science, said Kim Bodensteiner, executive director of teaching and learning for the district.

“We’re continuing to make progress,” she said. “We’re not yet where we want to be.”

The district is updating its curriculum in language arts, so elementary students should see some improvements in reading next year, she said.

Last year, following a new math curriculum, the district saw a “big jump” on math test scores, which stabilized — but didn’t lose ground — this year.

Ultimately, the NeSA tests are as much a program evaluation as anything else, helping the district make sure its curriculum is aligned with state standards and that students are mastering the material.

BPS parents should already have received a report on their child’s performance.

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