Magazine article District Administration

Not Far Behind, but Still Striving for Proficiency

Magazine article District Administration

Not Far Behind, but Still Striving for Proficiency

Article excerpt

More than anything else, Mikeidra Mitchell, a sixth grader at Buchanan Elementary School in Hamilton, Ohio, likes to play football with her older brother. But in school, her favorite subject is math. Surprisingly, decimals and fractions are her biggest downfalls, her teacher says. But Mikeidra stands firm. "I understand it better" now, she said in January.

Mikeidra, 11, had A's and B's in school up until about a year ago, when work started getting harder, according to her mother, LaTrice Pew. Pew, a single parent and college student studying sports journalism, often finds Mikeidra reading her books. "I have to help her out," Pew says. "She uses big words. She wants to know definitions of things."

Now, Mikeidra is getting extra attention. Her fifth-grade Ohio Off-Year Proficiency Test last year showed she was near proficiency in writing, reading, math and science. She scored a 4 on the writing exam, while 5 was proficient. And she scored 209 in reading, when proficiency was 222. Math and science scores were 185, but proficiency was 200. This month, she is taking the sixth-grade Ohio Proficiency Test.

Classroom teacher Kathy Issenmann says Mikeidra takes awhile to grasp new concepts in math. And she has reading problems, particularly with fluency and comprehension. To help her, Mikeidra takes part in an intervention class where students are reading on a second-grade to fifth-grade level.

Volunteers from local businesses, part of an Adopt-a-School program at the school, tutor students in math 45 minutes a week. …

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