South Dakota students exceed national averages The South Dakota Board of Regents, at its regular business meeting at the South Dakota School for the Deaf in Sioux Falls, heard a report today on the results of the spring administration of the proficiency examinations taken by sophomores enrolled in the six regional universities.
"The results of the proficiency exam have once again shown us that students in South Dakota are receiving a superior education. The average scores of students within the South Dakota public university system exceeded national scores in all four subject areas, said Regents President Harvey C. Jewtt, IV.
The passing rates for students taking the proficiency examination for the first time in spring 1999 were 99.9 percent in science reasoning, 99.4 percent in mathematics, 96.9 percent in reading and 95.6 percent in writing skills.
"It is important for us to see the value we are adding to our students. Through the exam we now can identify the areas in which students may require further instruction and offer them remediation," said Regents Executive Director Robert T. Tad Perry.
Compared to national scores, South Dakota students' strength continues to be in the areas of mathematics and science reasoning. In mathematics, 79.5 percent of the students testing for the first time in spring 1999 scored at or above the national mean and 76.5 percent scored at or above the national mean in science reasoning. In the areas of writing skills and reading 63 percent and 68 percent of South Dakota students scored at or above the national mean, respectively.
A system wide total of 1,963 students were required to sit for the proficiency exam for the first time in spring 1999. Only 1.7 percent of the students who were required to take the exam did not. In addition to the students testing for the first time, there were 129 students who re-tested for the first time in spring of 1999. More than three-quarters of those students 79.8 percent obtained acceptable scores. An additional 46 students took the test for the third time in spring 1999. Nearly two thirds of these students (65.2 percent) obtained acceptable scores.