STAR Scores Released For Santa Clarita Valley; Hart Officials Tout Results
Check out the summary results for the Hart district's STAR scores. The bottom of the story has a link to each of the results for the junior highs and high schools in the Santa Clarita Valley.
STAR scores, the state’s standardized testing system that’s used to “grade” schools’ progress with API scores, were released Thursday at 11 a.m.
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Hart district officials touted results, which they said stayed on par with past scores that well exceeded state and county averages.
“Even when our numbers stay the same, they are impressive, especially compared to county and state scores,” noted David LeBarron, director of curriculum and assessment for the William S. Hart Union High School District.
The tests, taken last spring by 18,282 students, measure student proficiency of the state’s academic content standards – the specific content that students are expected to master at each grade level and course.
API scores, which measure schools progress based on goals determined by previous school and district results, will be released in October.
However, the state is revamping the system, and local districts will start seeing changes over the next few years.
This year is the final time that the STAR tests were used as the primary evaluation for students in grades two to 11, a state Department of Education official said.
Some students will continue to take the STAR, however, some will participate in the new Smarter Balanced field tests that will assess students in the Common Core State Standards in English, Language Arts and Math, in preparation for the (new) assessment tests.
The state does not yet have a formal list for which districts will be considering the new field tests, she said. The plans to move toward computerized testing, which is a state goal, are still being looked at by Sacramento.
The state’s Legislature is considering a transition plan that would limit the use of STAR in the coming school year, 2013-14, Jung said. The new tests would take place in 2014-15.
This year, as in years past, student scores on the STAR tests fall into one of five levels, ranging from far below basic, below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced. The goal is to increase the percentage of student scoring proficient and above, while decreasing the percentage of students who score below basic.
Statewide, scores on the annual Standardized Testing and Reporting assessments slipped by a fraction of a percentage point this year as schools dealt with ongoing budget reductions and the transition to the Common Core State Standards, according to a statement by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Students managed to hold on to the vast majority of gains posted over the last 11 years, with a majority of students statewide continuing to achieve at the proficient or advanced level in mathematics and English-language arts.
Only 1-in-3 students achieved proficiency in 2003, the year STAR tests became fully aligned to the former state content standards.
LeBarron noted that the API calculation places more emphasis on the number of students who move up to basic, rather than the number who move from basic to proficient and above.
Performance remained the same at the 11th grade, and decreased by one percent at the 7th grade level and two percent at the eighth grade level.
The percentage of Hart District students scoring at the Proficient or Advanced levels surpassed the percentage of Los Angeles County students scoring at these same levels by more than 17 percent at the junior highs and more than 15 percent at the high schools.
Vasquez High, which is part of the Acton Agua Dulce Unified School District, not the Hart district, had 323 students in attendance for testing. Of the school's 283 students tested for English language arts, 60.1 percent were deemed proficient or advanced. Of 263 students tested in math, 15.6 percent were deemed proficient. Of 84 students tested in science, 69 percent were deemed proficient.
“The true purpose of a test is to give us information we can use,” LeBarron continued. “We need to analyze the results and determine where we did well and were we can do better. Every school is doing that.”
He noted that the STAR scores are only one piece of the assessment picture, but they are the piece that is the largest for the public. “We take it very seriously,” he concluded. “Our students’ performance on the state assessments is a measure we use to evaluate our instructional programs.”
Here's a snapshot of the school's individual performances:
Academy of the Canyons; Arroyo Seco Jr High; Bowman High; Canyon High; Golden Valley; Hart High; La Mesa Jr. High; Learning Post; Placerita Jr. High; Rancho Pico Jr. High; Rio Norte Jr. High; Saugus High; Sequoia Charter School; Sierra Vista Jr. High; Valencia High; and West Ranch High.
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