RMI High School Students Show Steady Improvement

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College placement exam scores on the rise over last few years

By Giff Johnson

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety, May 10, 2013) – College of Marshall Islands placement test results for high school seniors are showing steady improvement, said President Carl Hacker.

The school year just ending may set a record for the percentage of students testing into credit and development levels two and three.

"On our placement test, we have seen some steady positive progress over the last several years, particularly in math," Hacker said Thursday. "So some good momentum here. It certainly does appear that something positive is happening."

Historically, only a handful of the over 600 prospective students who take the college placement test achieve scores high enough to qualify for credit level courses. The largest group goes into development level one, the lowest academic level requiring significant remedial work before they qualify for credit-level studies.

Data supplied by the college shows that in 2007-08, only 19 percent of students taking the placement test scored high enough to make it into one of these three academic categories in English and even fewer, 12 percent, made the grade for math.

The numbers have shown an upward trend since then. This past school year, 2012-13, the college is showing 31 percent are placing in credit, development two or development three in math, and 25 percent are making it for math.

"There is some change for the better taking place here," Hacker said. "We have seen some steady progress."

At Thursday’s Marshall Islands High School graduation ceremony, principal Evelyn Konou said this year’s graduates showed greatly improved college placement test scores, including more reaching credit-level scores.

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