Schools: State releases results of new standardized testing

Most local elementary school districts are far ahead of state averages

California has released the 2016 results of the state's new computerized standardized assessments that test whether students are meeting the standards of the new Common Core curriculum the state's public schools have been adopting.

The Common Core attempts to standardize nationally what kindergarten through 12th grade students should know in English and math at the end of each grade. The so-called Smarter Balanced assessments that California students were given test how students meet those Common Core standards. This was the second year the tests were given.

All the elementary school districts in the Almanac's circulation area, except for the Ravenswood City School District, placed well above the state's average in the tests of English language arts and literacy and of math.

Woodside Elementary had the highest overall level of students who met or exceeded the standard for their grade level in English, with 86 percent, and tied with the Portola Valley School District in math with 83 percent.

Local high schools were about level with the state averages for high schools.

Statewide, about 49 percent of students met or exceeded the standards in English for their grade level, and about 37 percent did so in math.

More than 3.2 million students took the standardized tests in California.

The online tests base questions designed to test critical-thinking and problem-solving skills on the student's success with the previous question. With a right answer, a more difficult question is asked; with a wrong answer the next question is easier.

There are four categories: exceeding the standard for grade level, at the standard, nearly at the standard, and below the standard.

Parents will receive the results for their children in the mail. Results for schools and districts can be seen online at the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress website.

Students in third through eighth grades and in 11th grade were tested.

Here are the average results for the percentage of students who exceeded or met standards in local school districts:

● Las Lomitas - 85 percent English; 80 percent math (best grade: third, with 91 percent in each area).

● Menlo Park City - 82 percent English; 81 percent math (best grades: eighth, 88 percent in English; third, 84 percent in math).

● Portola Valley - 85 percent English; 83 percent math (best grades: seventh, with 89 percent in English and 88 percent in math; third grade also had 88 percent in math).

● Woodside - 86 percent English; 83 percent math (best grade: seventh, 94 percent in both English and math).

● Ravenswood City - 19 percent English; 12 percent math (best grades: eighth, with 26 percent in English, and third, with 17 percent in math).

At Woodside High School, 57 percent of 11th graders met or exceeded the standards in English and 34 percent did so in math.

At Menlo-Atherton High School, 61 percent of 11th graders met or exceeded the standards in English and 49 percent did so in math.

Statewide, 59 percent of 11th-graders met or exceeded the English standards and 33 percent did so in math. The state says meeting the standard means students are "conditionally-ready" for college-level work.

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Like this comment
Posted by EDEquity
a resident of another community
on Aug 27, 2016 at 7:09 am

The Common Core results around the state shows increases in both ELA and math. However, the results for Black students are around 37% difference of Black students meeting and exceeding standards w their White counterparts.

If Cal schools actually implemented Equity, we might be reporting different scores. Little focus means no focus. We all can do better.

2 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Aug 27, 2016 at 10:24 am

pogo is a registered user.

Two-thirds of the tested students failed to meet the math requirement.

More than half of the tested students failed to meet the English requirement.

Good job, California educators!

8 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 29, 2016 at 12:41 pm

@pogo Sure, blame the educators--again. Doesn't it ever occur to any of the knee-jerk blamers that education is not the sole responsibility of schools? A student's ability to succeed comes from many sources, including the crucial parental home environment.

Try educating a child who comes to school tired and, or, hungry. Or try teaching the student who is using drugs. There's also the sad truth contained in the old adage: you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ears. Poor nutrition from the parent's own childhood through to the student's childhood does cause some intellectual impairments--should we also blame that on educators? (Schools are now expected to feed students breakfast at school and provide lunches too.)

Our schools and teachers are not miracle workers. As for the "common Core," good grief is all I can say about that boondoggle!

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