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South Dakota Writing Scores Improving

December 20, 2000, 12:00 AM

South Dakota Writing Scores Improving
South Dakota students continue to improve on state writing tests. State Education Secretary Ray Christensen says ninth graders had average scores of 82 this Fall on standardized tests, compared to 76 a year earlier. Fifth graders had average scores of 61, compared to 52 last year. A score of 50 represents the national average. Christensen says South Dakota students are writing better because more emphasis is being placed on writing. South Dakota students who took the Stanford Writing Assessment for the first time in 1998 were well below the 50th percentile. Those low scores prompted Governor Janklow to say he may fire administrators, cut aid and take over schools that continue to perform poorly. Schools have since placed more emphasis on writing skills.

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