State reports focus on local schools
by Maddy Houk
Oct 18, 2012 | 877 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Patterson Joint Unified School District students are gradually showing progress on state test scores, though only Apricot Valley and Grayson Charter elementary schools met statewide goals in 2012, according to state data released Thursday, Oct. 11.

Local schools did not do as well in results of the federal Adequate Yearly Progress reports that were released at the same time.

PJUSD students tallied an overall score of 746 for the state’s API results, up 7 points from last year, but still far short of the state’s target of 800.

Phil Alfano, PJUSD superintendent of schools, said there is still room for improvement. F

“We’re proud of the overall achievement our students are making, but we also recognize there’s still more work to be done,” Alfano said Tuesday, Oct. 16

Locally, Apricot Valley Elementary, which earned an 842 in 2012, is down 11 points from last year. Grayson Charter, which came in with a score of 813, is up 9 points from 2011. Test scores for four of the other five schools in the district jumped up in 2012, with Northmead Elementary taking the greatest leap, going up 28 points from 754 to 782. Las Palmas Elementary was up 9 points, jumping from 746 to 755.

Creekside Middle School scores came in with a 4-point gain, moving from 722 last year to 726 this year. Patterson High School moved up 11 points from 723 to 734. Del Puerto High, the district’s alternative education school, moved down 122 points from 633 to 511. However, scores for small schools in the state, such as Del Puerto — with between 11 and 99 students — are not included in API data.

Alfano, said students and teachers are working hard on academics.

“Our goal is to continue meeting the needs of all our students while also preparing for the transition to the Common Core and the new assessment system under development,.” Alfano said.

Common Core consists of instructional guidelines for English language arts and mathematics developed through state-led efforts. It aims to establish clear education standards, so teachers can better prepare students for college and the workforce.

API results are based on students’ scores on Standardized Testing and Reporting tests taken each year. Those tests are scored on five levels — advanced, proficient, basic, below basic and far below basic in subject areas such as English-language arts and math, using a scale of 200 to 1,000.

Along with the state’s API, the state Department of Education released federal Adequate Yearly Progress figures on Oct. 11. AYP results are based on the percentage of students who test proficient or advanced in English language arts and math on the S.T.A.R. tests or the California High School Exit Exam.

All schools in the state are expected to meet federal growth targets each year earning the school a “yes” if target areas are reached. The federal AYP targets consist of four parts: student participation rate, percent of students who test proficient; the API scores and the high school graduation rate.

Schools that do not meet the AYP growth targets are put on a Program Improvement watch list and must bring up their test scores over a five-year period to get off the list. Although local schools have made progress on AYP targets, Patterson Unified Schools remain in Program Improvement status. .

The federal No Child Left Behind Act has designated that all students in the country must achieve proficiency by the 2013-2014 school year.

Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187 ext. 22 or maddy@pattersonirrigator.com.

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