Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Successes Motivate School in North City Report on Tests Fails to Faze Pierre Laclede

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Successes Motivate School in North City Report on Tests Fails to Faze Pierre Laclede

Article excerpt

Teachers and students at Pierre Laclede Elementary School in north St. Louis say they are undaunted by a recent report of dismal test scores by Missouri's black students. The report only emphasizes Pierre Laclede's success.

Principal Joyce Roberts pointed to a certificate of achievement recognizing her school for ranking in the 50th percentile or above range for its national Stanford Achievement Tests.

"Boys and girls who attend this school do well academically." Pierre Laclede is a shining exception to the gloom and doom of last week's report, in which black students trailed their white counterparts by substantial margins in the Missouri Mastery and Achievement Tests. A visit to the school Friday showed how teachers and parents can motivate students to succeed. Pierre Laclede numbers are not spectacular. They generally fall below state averages in reading, math, science and social studies. But compared with other schools in the district, its third-graders scored above average this year in all four areas tested. Its fifth-graders scored above average in reading and math and below average in science and social studies. Jerry Powers, director of evaluation and research for the St. Louis Public Schools, said Laclede is above the national average in most subject areas on the Stanford Achievement Test. "It's unusual for a school like this to score this high," he said. "These scores are more common for magnet schools." Pierre Laclede takes testing seriously. The school looks at test scores throughout the year and gives pre-tests to determine strengths and weaknesses. The staff discusses results in professional development meetings and shares the scores with parents. "We believe that all children will and can learn when learning experiences occur in a child-centered, academically fostered environment that promotes positive self-esteem," Roberts said. The school, at 5821 Kennerly Avenue, sits across the street from boarded-up houses. It has 420 elementary students in preschool to fifth gr ade, and 40 full-time and part-time teachers. …

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