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More Sunnyside students meeting state benchmark standards

The Sunnyside School District has been hard at work ensuring students are meeting state benchmark standards and some recent test results indicate something is working.

A recent test of first grade students revealed that 77 percent are meeting standards. Eric Sylling, Summit/MERIT Grants Director for the district, revealed that the results are a "significant increase" over last year.

Sylling told the Sunnyside School Board last night that a larger portion of classrooms are meeting walk-through standards set by the district. These standards include requirements that classroom work meet grade-level standards and the level of work challenges students to use a variety of cognitive skills.

These cognitive skills are based on Bloom's Taxonomy, a widely used learning hierarchy, and include knowledge recall, information application, synthesis, comprehension, analysis and evaluation.

Based on classroom walk-through data, Sylling said classrooms meeting their standards increased from 50 percent last year to 80 percent this year.

Julie Kassissia from Teachscape, a research and professional development company that has monitored Sunnyside's use of classroom walk-throughs, commended the work of the Sunnyside School District staff, including Sylling.

But Sylling says that much of their work is still ahead of them.

"Just walking through a classroom doesn't change the world," Sylling said, "but it is a way to understand what is going on in the classroom and how to aid them."

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