The yearly California Standardized Resting and Reporting tests administered to second-through 11th graders statewide, ranks test takers on five levels — “advanced,” “proficient,” “basic,” “below basic” and “far below basic.”
The state board of education has set the “proficient” level as the goal of all students who are tested. That is in line with the state’s accountability growth target and federal No Child Left Behind requirements.
Those tests, known as the CSTs, are part of the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program, also known as STAR.
In the past few years, test scores for Patterson Joint Unified School District students have jumped dramatically since the 2008 school year. In the case of PJUSD fifth-graders, for instance, 33 percent of fifth-graders scored proficient or advanced in English and 39 percent scored proficient or advanced in math in 2008. The results for 2012 show 54 percent of fifth-graders scored at proficient or advanced levels in English and 61 percent scored proficient or advanced in math.
The same holds true for PJUSD fourth-grade test takers, 67 percent of whom scored proficient or advanced in English and 71 percent of whom scored proficient or advanced in math. That compares to 40 percent of local fourth-graders who were proficient or advanced and in English and 46 percent who were in proficient or advanced in math in 2008.
This year statewide 67 percent of fourth graders in California were proficient or advanced in English while 71 percent fell into those two levels in math. Sixty-three percent of fifth-graders were proficient and advanced in English and 65 percent in Math.
Veronica Miranda, Patterson Joint Unified School District’s Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, said the local students’ scores are going in the right direction.
“We continue to make slow and steady progress in English language arts and math,” Miranda said. “Some highlights I would like to share from our STAR test results is that fourth-grade students in both English language arts and math have the highest percentage of advanced and proficient students — scoring 67 percent and 71 percent, respectively. Ninety-four percent of Patterson school district seventh-grade students scored proficient or advanced on the algebra California Standards Test. Students at Patterson High School also gained some ground in the area of science, with an increase of 38 percentage points occurring in 10th-grade chemistry.”
Four years ago, the local district implemented various measures to help students improve academically.
As a result, students in each grade level across the district’s various schools now use the same textbooks for each of their subjects. In addition, administrators aligned the curriculum so students from all grade levels are taught the same lessons.
Students also are now monitored with three-times-a-year testing called “benchmark testing” to gauge where each student stands academically.
For more information about the tests, visit www.cde.ca.gov
Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187, ext. 22, or firstname.lastname@example.org.