Lexington Schools See Improvement in Testing

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LEXINGTON, Neb -- Lexington is at the head of the class. Bert Peterson a retired education analyst did a study on test score but he created a twist. He factored in poverty rates. When that factor was put in play Lexington ended up at the top of the state in reading and math scores.

Peterson says poverty can have a big impact on test scores and that is why they should be a factor. Lexington school officials say they work hard to make sure their students achieve success in the classroom.

A new formula for gauging how schools are doing when you factor in the poverty rate was recently created.

Kyle Hoehner the principal at Lexington High School says, "40 of our 200 kids are English language learners, many of whom do not even speak the language. They are still required to take the test."

It is an independent study and shows that Lexington schools performed well above what their expected score should be. Lexington school officials are proud of the test scores. They say their hard work is paying off.

Hoehner says, "We are a very large school. We have 200 kids in a class and over 800 kids in the building with staff and everyone else we are at about 1,000 people, but we really try to build the relationships that make a difference. We try to focus on the individual."

Hoehner believes that poverty is a big factor when it comes to education. According to the last U.S. census,Lexington has is a little over 20 percent poverty rate. The state poverty rate is 12 percent. Hoehner says however they are not letting their students use that as a crutch.

Hoehner says, "We still want to grow every year as we have been doing. We appreciate the accolades of being ranked number one in Math and Reading based on his component but we really want to continue to do better."

Hoehner says they are working hard to cultivate a good relationship between students and teachers. They know some of their students face some pretty big obstacles, but they want to let the kids know they are there to help. It is that spirit of cooperation that is creating a school the community can be proud of

Hoehner adds Lexington's success has not gone unnoticed by other schools. He receives inquires from schools that do not have high of poverty rate who want to know how they are succeeding.