Statewide science assessment results for Spring 2010 were released by the Vermont Department of Education today. The results are from the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) Science assessments, given to Vermont public school students in grades 4, 8 and 11 in May 2010. This is the third year of administration of the NECAP Science Assessment.Fifty-four percent of Vermont fourth graders assessed were proficient or higher in science, up two percentage points from last year. In grade eight, 29 percent were proficient or higher, up five points. In grade 11, 28 percent were proficient or higher, up 1 point from 2009.“While our scores continue to increase slightly each year, we obviously have a long way to go regarding how well our students acquire science skills and knowledge,” said Commissioner Armando Vilaseca. “The department will continue its efforts to identify instructional methods and strategies used by schools with the highest scores on the NECAP science assessment so all Vermont schools and students can benefit from what those schools have learned.”“Students continue to show the greatest difficulty with the inquiry portion of the test, which requires them to analyze, draw conclusions and make predictions from data they collect during a hands-on investigation that is part of the assessment,” said Assessment Director Michael Hock.As seen in previous years statewide and nationally, an achievement gap persists between students from low-income families and their peers. In grade four, 37 percent of those students were proficient or higher, compared to 64 percent of their peers. In grade eight, 15 percent of those students were proficient or higher, compared to 37 percent of their peers. In grade 11, 13 percent of those students were proficient or higher, compared to 33 percent of their peers.The NECAP assessments were created in collaboration with Rhode Island and New Hampshire and is now also administered in Maine. These assessments are designed to specifically assess how well Vermont students have learned the skills and content contained in the Vermont Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities and Grade Expectations.For school reports, visit http://www.education.vermont.gov/new/html/pgm_assessment/data.html#necap(link is external). Source: Vermont DOE. 9.22.2010
Press Association The Glazer family remain comfortable about Manchester United’s value despite recent falls in share prices on the New York Stock Exchange, according to sources close to the club. United’s shares were valued at 15.16 US dollars (£9.26) when the market opened for trading on Monday – well down on a high point last May of 19.34 (£11.82) but higher than the 12-month low of 14.39 (£8.79). In overall terms that can be seen as a drop in the value of £250million but sources say the Glazer family who own United take a long-term view about the value of the shares, which were launched in August 2012 in New York at a price of 14 dollars. One United source said: “The Glazer family take very much a long-term view about share prices and the value of the club – there have been a number of fluctuations in the last 18 months but they remain comfortable about the current position.” In the last year there have been numerous ups and downs – the announcement by Sir Alex Ferguson last May that he was retiring led to a sharp drop in share price. The price recovered over the summer but there was another fall in October, only for promising financial figures from the club for the first quarter to prompt a recovery, and then another swift fall in December. United’s comparatively poor form on the pitch this season – they are by no means assured of a place in the Champions League – may be a cause for concern for some investors, but in financial terms the club is expected to post record revenues this season. The Glazers are also understood to be determined to have patience with Ferguson’s successor David Moyes, understanding that he will need time to settle in after taking over from the most successful manager the game has ever seen. Moyes was given a six-year contract in the summer – a statement of intent by the owners that they view him as well as the club as a long-term investment. Some analysts believe United have been over-valued anyway despite the club’s fan-base and income. Other stock market watchers believe that the expected announcement of a new kit deal with Nike will send the share value rocketing again.