http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2013/08/16/pleasanton-tests-scores-fall-slightly


Pleasanton Weekly

News - August 16, 2013

Pleasanton tests scores fall slightly

Other California schools see similar drops

by Glenn Wohltmann

Pleasanton Unified School District is one of many in California that showed declines in STAR test results, although locally, the decrease is mostly minor.

"I know in general our scores went down this year. There doesn't seem to be any large drops, nothing that overwhelmingly stands out," said Nicole Steward, the district's technology coordinator, adding most drops are 1% or 2%.

Steward said many districts across the state saw STAR scores drop.

STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) tests were designed to show how well California students are performing on standards established for each grade by the state Board of Education. The STAR program includes four tests: the California Standards Tests, the California Modified Assessment, the California Alternate Performance Assessment, and the Standards-based Tests in Spanish.

In grades 2 through 11, the California Standards Tests cover English language arts and mathematics. In eighth grade, the test adds history and social science.

CST English scores for sixth- and eighth-grade students fell between 2012 and 2013, going from 90% of students in sixth-grade rated advanced or proficient to 86%, and dropping from 92% of eighth-graders ranked advanced or proficient to 83%.

In math, most elementary and middle school scores changed little between 2012 and 2013. While 86% of fifth-grade students were rated proficient or advanced, up from 81% in 2012, scores for sixth-grade students went from 84% advanced or proficient to 79%.

History scores changed little for eighth- and 10th-grade students and improved from 79% advanced or proficient in 2012 to 83% in 2013 for 11th-graders.

Students in grades 5, 8 and 10, take CST tests on life sciences. Those tests showed a small bump in eighth-graders who are proficient or advanced and small downticks for fifth- and 10th-graders.

Starting in grade 9, students also take the CST for math and science courses. Biology scores were close for ninth- and 11th-graders in 2012 and 2013, but 10th-grade scores dropped from 76% advanced or proficient in 2012 to 68% in 2013.

Chemistry scores also remained close for 10th- and 11th-graders, although ninth-grade student scores of proficient or advanced climbed from 75% in 2012 to 84% in 2013.

Physics scores for ninth-graders saw little change between 2013 and 2013, but for 10th- and 11th-graders, scores soared, from 68% proficient or advanced to 98% for 10th grade and from 79% to 87% for 11th grade.

Integrated/Coordinated Science scores saw some improvement. While no 10th- or 11th-graders scored advanced or proficient in 2012, 7% of 10th-grade students and 8% of 11th-grade students ranked proficient.

Algebra I showed both improvement and declines. Scores for seventh-graders were 98% advanced or proficient in 2012, and went to 99% in 2013. Tenth-grade scores remained close, but ninth-graders dropped from 26% proficient or advanced in 2012 to 21% in 2013. While no 10th- or 11th-graders scored advanced in 2012, 2% of 10th-graders and 5% of 11th-graders were proficient in Algebra I. In 2013, 1% of 10th-grade students ranked advanced and 9% were proficient. No 11th-graders were proficient or advanced in 2013.

Geometry scores fell between 2012 and 2013, with the exception of ninth-grade students, who saw a slight bump, from 65% to 68% proficient or advanced. Eighth-grade scores remained high, falling from 99% to 98% proficient or advanced, but 10th-grade scores dropped from 21% to 14%. For 11th-graders, 10% were rated proficient in 2012, and none ranked either advanced or proficient in 2013.

The school board will hear a complete rundown of STAR test results at a future meeting, Steward said. The board's next meeting is set for Aug. 20.

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