Tuesday, September 11, 2012

STAR Test Results

Test results aren't everything, but as someone who appreciates metrics, I do like the clear reinforcement we receive when the annual STAR test results come in.

Here is a link to the presentation, the scores by school, and the summary from the Board meeting last night:

Overall, our students performed well on the California Standards Tests this past spring.  Scores were strong in all content areas.  I expect that our Academic Performance Index (API) score will be on par with last year’s score when it is released by the State in October.  

English/Language Arts
Our results were once again very strong with ninety-three percent of students scoring at the advanced or proficient mark as evidenced in the first data slide.    There continues to be a “third grade dip”, in which scores drop between second and fourth grades.  This is a trend that also occurs countywide and statewide. While the trend continues, third grade student performed better than in previous years.

Our results in writing continue to be impressive. In Grade 4, ninety-seven percent of our students scored in the proficient/advanced range.  In Grade 7, ninety-nine percent of our students scored in the proficient/advanced range with seventy percent of our students scoring in the advanced range.   

LASD students performed well in the area of mathematics with ninety-three percent of second through seventh graders scoring at the proficient/advanced range.

History-Social Science
This STAR component is administered only to eighth graders. Our students did very well scoring at a rate of ninety-two percent proficient or advanced.  

The science portion of the STAR testing is administered to fifth and eighth graders. Our students again performed extremely well scoring at a rate of ninety-four percent proficient or advanced in grade five and ninety-seven percent in eighth grade.

While we have much to be proud of, we have more work to do.  An achievement gap does exist in our district that needs to closed.  The achievement gap exists between our general population and a few subgroups of students, English Learners and Socioeconomically Disadvantaged students.  While the achievement gap still exists, we have evidence that we are making progress in closing this gap.  This school year we will have an increased focus on providing research based interventions to close the achievement gap for all students.


I think this reflects particularly well on the professional development we've been doing.  For example, since 2006 we've been focusing on a cohesive curriculum in writing, so that students transition seamlessly from one grade into the next.  In the Jr High programs, English teachers have worked with teachers in other subject areas to clearly define how papers should be written for History, Science, and other academic subjects.  It is really paying off. With 99% of 7th graders hitting proficient or advanced, we are very pleased.

I have to give credit to Alyssa Gallagher, Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction.  She is passionate about ensuring that each and every student is getting what they need from our program.  For example, I asked about the English Language Learners, and how well they fare after having been in our schools for at least two years.  Raquel Matteroli examined a cohort of students at Santa Rita.  In 2010-11, there were 42 ELL students. Of those, 21 were in the District in 2011-12, and most of them have shown improvement in their scores.  We'll continue to break this down into more detail, but it is important to see that we are helping all of our students be successful.  hats off to our teachers, staff, and administration for such excellent results.