Published: Thu, September 28, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Results are in: Kern County students continue to improve in state testing

Results are in: Kern County students continue to improve in state testing

The tests are programmed to base questions on each student's answers, so a correct answer is followed by a more hard question and a wrong answer by an easier question, giving a more accurate picture of what students know or don't know, officials said.

About 49 percent of students statewide met or exceeded English standards on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress in 2017, which is administered to public school students at certain grade levels each year.

Standard met: Demonstrates progress toward mastery.

The proportion of students meeting math standards statewide also held steady at roughly 37 percent.

"I'm pleased we retained our gains, but we have a lot of work to do", Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of schools, said in a prepared statement.

Because of the more rigorous nature of the new California State Standards the CAASPP is assessing, educators knew that students would likely need to make significant progress to met the standards when the new testing program was rolled out in 2015.

While the state previously relied on test scores alone to evaluate the education system, the Department of Education has developed a broad matrix, which offers parents and educators a more comprehensive assessment of schools, including graduation and suspension rates.

Scores on the assessments fall into one of four achievement levels: standard exceeded, standard met, standard almost met, and standard not met. Those figures were unchanged from the prior year. Those disparities have been persistent for years and also seen in other state and national measurements. (Most charter schools are listed among the school districts.) Click on "View Test Results". And in Racine, the average public school score was 17.5 compared with 20 for choice students.

Russell Ranch Elementary in Folsom, Sandra J. Gallardo Elementary in Folsom and Arnold Adreani Elementary in Elk Grove all had more than 80 percent of students meet math standards.

In the math portion of the CAASPP, proficiency rates rose to 29 percent, a 1-percent increase over proficiency rates from 2016.

McRae has taken his concerns to the state Department of Education and to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Now that the framework is in place, the state needs to focus on implementation, he said. The incremental gains came after dismal scores in 2015.

Alta Loma School District: English 65.2%, Math 49.94%. As an example, 33 percent of students who are economically disadvantaged met or exceeded standards in ELA compared to 59 percent of students who are not economically disadvantaged.

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Only about 32 percent of 11th grade students passed the math standard while close to 56 percent passed the English test.

Morgan Polikoff, an associate professor of education at USC's Rossier School of Education, said he puts very little stock in year-to-year changes in the percentage of students who are proficient because it is a "very, very poor measure of how much school districts are improving or not".

Bonita Unified: English 67.68%, Math 54.03%.

"We would like to attain the same progress on our new assessments that California is experiencing on other measures of school success", Kirst said.

California State Universities and many community colleges consider high marks on these tests for 11th-grade students a reliable sign of readiness for college-level work.

Overall, 3.2 million students took the California state standardized tests.

"We saw double-digit gains in Novato (grade seven math) and Shoreline (grades four and eight English language arts, and grades seven math)".

Some students are struggling more than others.

The resulting page will show test scores for all students of your selected school.

Individual student scores are mailed to parents, but you can go online to see how your student's school or district performed.

Locally, Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District's initial scores showed results for 11th graders.

In all tested grades in Monterey County, 36.42 percent of students met or exceeded the English language arts/literacy standards, a 4.42 percentage point increase from 2015.

State Board of Education President Michael W. Kirst said California is moving in the right direction-both the high school graduation rate and college eligibility rate are at all-time highs-but there is more work ahead to ensure that students can demonstrate a mastery of standards through testing.

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