Over and over again at last week's Oceanport Board of Education meeting, administrators stressed the need to address the whole student rather than simply concentrate on test scores.
The superintendent, two school principals and special services director presented at the Nov. 29 meeting results from state mandated standardized tests administered to students last year.
"Testing is not the whole picture," said Superintendent Andrew Orefice. "But we do recognize that it's the rules of the game."
Overall, students in grades 3-8 in the district who took the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) outscored students throughout the state. Most grades take math and language arts segments while fourth and eighth graders also have a science unit.
(Click on the attached presentation from the meeting that includes all test results.)
Third grade test results improved across the board from the 2010-2011 to 20-11-2012 school year. Scores also increased significantly for fifth grade math.
Scores for all three units taken by the fourth grade dipped as did sixth grade language arts.
The district's special education students scored below the state average for proficiency in testing subjects -- 12.4 percent as opposed to 14.69 percent.
Robin Dunikoski, director of special services, said that those students are mainstreamed with the rest of the school population and she felt there were more effective means to assess that population.
"We capitalize on who the students are," she said. "You're not going to see that on a standardized test."
The district is moving towards developing individual plans for each student, according to Orefice, which will be used as a form of assessment in a few years.
"We want to look at the totality of the educational program," Orefice said.