The Las Cruces Academy is proud to announce the excellent results from a recent administration of the Iowa Assessments, a widely used set of standardized tests for measuring academic achievement; the LCA students had composite scores in the top 1% of schools across the nation who administered the test and in the top 13% of private schools across the nation, as well. The scoring system used also yields a grade equivalent achieved by the students in each area and as a composite. On average, LCA students performed 2 years above their actual grade level in composite scores, and individually as high as 6 years. As always, we are proud of our students for the advanced education they have achieved, and of the teachers who continue to provide it.
This fine performance was achieved despite not teaching to the Iowa Assessments, or any other standardized test over its ten years of instruction in Las Cruces. The school attributes these results to several factors. The students are each placed in small classes taught by competent, passionate teachers. Most classes are further split into smaller groups; for instance a class of 12 students may have 4 separate spelling groups. So, each student is taught at his or her own appropriate level, challenging but not overwhelming. All students have several teachers during the day, each teacher providing instruction in their area of expertise. The students also get frequent breaks, for recess and for snacks, so they can concentrate when they are in class. In addition, all students spend significant time during the day actually reading, so they become masters of this most important skill.
The Iowa Assessments were initially developed in 1935 and have been continually updated since then by faculty in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. This battery of standardized tests is used as a measurement of skills which all students should develop, not only those following a localized curriculum. The tests include such topics as vocabulary, word analysis, reading comprehension, capitalization, punctuation, mathematics, social studies, and science. This generality has made the tests popular across the country, in addition to its use in Iowa. At the LCA, the tests provide the school with a basis to determine our overall performance in key areas, to identify students who need additional instruction in specific areas, and to insure proper placement of students into learning groups. This information supplements the knowledge of the students that our teachers gather continually.