Grace Academy averaged standardized test scores two grade levels above the national average.
BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Seventh-grade students at Grace Academy, 1060 W. Granada Blvd., averaged scores at a “college-ready” level in two academic categories, while eighth-graders at the school averaged “college-ready" scores in four categories, according to Iowa Test of Basic Skills results.
The national standardized test was taken by all students at Grace Academy, levels kindergarten through eighth grade, and it showed that students at the school perform, on average, two grade levels above the national average.
“Grace Academy doesn't teach to the test; and we don't need to,” said Christian Dickinson, school principal and director. “One week prior to the test's administration, we let parents and students know that there will be no homework the following week. All that is required is that students are present and well rested; nothing is out of the ordinary.”
With a score of 13 or above indicating college-readiness, Grace Academy students scored a 10-12 in fifth-grade conventions of writing; sixth-grade conventions of writing; seventh-grade vocabulary and social studies; eighth-grade math application, math computation and science.
“Instruction drives the curriculum and not vice-versa,” Dickinson added. “Our teachers truly understand that one size does not fit all. ... Developing individualized learning paths for our students takes time and commitment from teachers. It requires the questioning of everything you’ve been told about education, and the dedication to unlearn and relearn a new way of thinking.”