Time to read at TCHS
by Hawkins Teague
Dec 19, 2007 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Teacher Vickie Cotthoff is hoping that the newly revived “sustained silent reading time” will help enhance what she calls the “missed miracles” at Trigg County High School.

Cotthoff said that many people didn’t know how miraculous some improvements at the school because when the scores from last spring’s CATS assessment testing came in, they reflected an overall gain of only 0.4 out of a possible 140 points. However, she said, some of the steps that individual students took to improve are truly amazing.

Cotthoff said that when last year’s sophomore class started their freshman years in the fall of 2005, only about half of the class could read at their grade level. The other half was not only below that level, but many of them were as far below as fourth and fifth grade levels. Cotthoff said this problem occurs far more often than people realize, and it adds a lot of pressure for the high school teachers who are responsible for pulling them up to the appropriate level before it’s too late.

“A lot of people don’t want to admit the hard truth, which is that you can’t make up an eight-year deficit in two or three years,” Cotthoff said.

She said that because teachers focused on reading, many of those aforementioned students made vast improvements by the next year. Last year’s sophomore class totaled 188, and of these, 125 of them scored of them scored proficient or distinguished on their CATS reading tests.

“It’s a miracle that they didn’t fall behind,” Cotthoff said. “It’s not where we want to be, but it’s good.”

Cotthoff said she was particularly proud of three girls, two of which read at a fifth grade level, with the other at a fourth grade level. By the end of their sophomore years, Cotthoff said they were all reading at an eighth grade level, which she said was an incredible leap for such a short time. She said they also scored proficient on their CATS reading tests. When the girls found out, they were incredibly excited, she said.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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