Dixon Unified agenda: Updates on state test scores, Measure Q – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Dixon Unified leaders, when they meet tonight, will hear a presentation on state standardized test scores, an update on Measure Q on the November ballot, and the Dixon High Farm.

The assistant superintendent of educational services, Mike Walbridge will tell the five-member governing board that, of the 1,700 out of 3,500 students tested last spring in grades three to eight and 11, 32 percent met or exceeded state standards in math and 41 percent did so in English.

Dixon’s scores on the 2016 California Assessment of Student Proficiency and Progress (CAASPP) roughly matched those of Solano County as a whole but fell well below the state averages.

Source: Dixon Unified agenda: Updates on state test scores, Measure Q

Unfair to compare district test scores to other district’s – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

In a wide-ranging review of recent state standards test results, a Travis Unified official noted it was unfair to compare the Fairfield district’s comparatively laudable scores with numbers from other districts with higher percentages of English learners, poor students and foster youth.

During the district’s once-monthly governing board meeting Tuesday, Sue Brothers, assistant superintendent for educational services, noted Travis’s demographic count — 2,900 students tested in grades three to eight and 11 — included 32 percent of “unduplicated” students, whereas neighboring Vacaville Unified’s percentage of English learners, poor students and foster youth who were tested was greater than 40 percent.

She appeared to suggest such differences may affect test scores, as can parent education level, including whether or not a father or mother, or both, graduated from college or earned a post-graduate degree.

Source: Unfair to compare district test scores to other district’s – The Reporter

 

State board poised to take new direction in school accountability | EdSource

By John Fensterwald

After months of drafting, revising and debating how best to measure and improve schools, the State Board of Education this week will adopt key elements of a new and distinct school accountability system.

The series of votes on Thursday will meet the Legislature’s Oct. 1 deadline and will mark 2½ years since the state board suspended its simpler predecessor, the Academic Performance Index. The board expects to change components of the system in coming years.

The new system shifts from a one-dimensional school rating under the API and the federal No Child Left Behind Act, based on test scores, toward a broader picture of what constitutes a quality education. It combines measures of underlying conditions, ­such as teacher qualifications and student suspension rates, and academic outcomes, including gauges of college and career readiness and standardized test scores.

Source: State board poised to take new direction in school accountability | EdSource

State test scores, facilities and scholars program on Kairos agenda tonight – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

The Kairos board of directors, when they meet tonight, will hear a report about the latest state test scores and hear a pair of updates, on school facilities and the Kairos Innovative Scholars Program.

The school’s executive director, Jared Austin, will tell the seven-member board that the TK-8 independent charter school, meaning it is not governed by the district with which it is aligned, Vacaville Unified, posted, for the second time in as many years, some of the highest 2015-16 CAASPP scores in Solano County.

(CAASPP is the acronym for California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, in its second year and tests students in grades three to eight and 11 on subject matter learned under Common Core.)

Austin and Patrick Broughton, the school’s educational services director, will note that some 320 students were tested, with 63 percent meeting or exceeding the standards in English, an increase of 4 percent over last year. Fifty-five percent did so in mathematics, an increase of 3 percent over last year, bettering averages of 43 and 32 percent in English and math, respectively, countywide, and 49 percent and 37 percent statewide.

 

Source: State test scores, facilities and scholars program on Kairos agenda tonight

Test scores, updates on Measure Q, school farm on Dixon Unified agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

State standardized test scores, and updates on Measure Q and the School Farm at Dixon High are on the agenda when Dixon Unified leaders meet Thursday night.

Mike Walbridge, assistant superintendent for educational services, will update the five-member governing board on the recently released results from the 2015-16 California Assessment of Student Proficiency and Progress, or CAASPP, an all-computerized test in its second year of use and based on the new Common Core State Standards.

Releasing test data Aug. 23, the state Department of Education indicated that math scores grew by 1 percent, to 32 percent, with the 1,700 students tested meeting or exceeding state standards.

Source: Test scores, updates on Measure Q, school farm on Dixon Unified agenda

Vacaville USD leaders to hear test score results, nutrition program update – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Vacaville Unified leaders, when they meet Thursday night, will hear a report on the most recent state standardized test scores, hear an update on the school district’s student nutrition program, and likely approve support for Proposition 51 on the November ballot.

Mark Frazier, chief academic officer, and Kim Forrest, director of instruction, curriculum and assessment, will note results of the 2015-16 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP.

Released to the public Aug. 24, the tests scores indicated that 37 percent of those taking the all-computerized tests last spring — some 6,200 students in grades three to eight and 11 — met or exceeded state standards in mathematics, an increase of 1 percent over last year.

Source: Vacaville Unified School District leaders to hear test score results, nutrition program update

Area students show progress on state tests – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

Thousands of Vacaville-area public school students, like their counterparts statewide, showed across-the-board progress in the second year of new state standardized tests, the California Department of Education reported Wednesday morning.

State schools chief Tom Torlakson made the state results known in a 9 a.m. public announcement while visiting a Los Angeles elementary school and in the afternoon at San Leandro High School in the East Bay.

Vacaville Unified

In Vacaville Unified, 37 percent of those taking the all-computerized tests last spring, some 6,200 students grades three to eight and 11, met or exceeded state standards in mathematics, an increase of 1 percent over last year, said Mark Frazier, the district’s chief academic officer.

Source: Area students show progress on state tests

Statewide Student Test Results Released – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that California students made significant progress in the second year of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) online tests, with the percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards increasing at every grade and in every student group.

Nearly half the students tested met or exceeded standards in English language arts, and nearly four in ten met or exceeded standards in mathematics (see Table 1). These online tests, based on California’s challenging academic standards, ask students to write clearly, think critically, and solve complex problems, just as they will need to do in college and on the job.

“The higher test scores show that the dedication, hard work, and patience of California’s teachers, parents, school employees, and administrators are paying off. Together we are making progress towards upgrading our education system to prepare all students for careers and college in the 21st century,” Torlakson said.

Source: Statewide Student Test Results Released – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)

Education Department Announces Grants to Reduce and Improve Tests – Education Week

By Alyson Klein

States that want to develop new types of tests, revamp test scoring and score reporting, or take a close look at the number and type of tests they offer to eliminate low-quality or redundant tests can apply for $9 million in federal competitive grants under the Enhanced Assessment Grant program, the U.S. Department of Education announced Friday.

The department also put out a report highlighting local and state efforts to pare back testing, including a Delaware district’s efforts to get rid of low-quality tests and replace them with better formative assessments, efforts in Tennessee to reduce tests for kindergarteners and 1st graders, and the work in Tulsa, Okla., to cut back on testing, especially in grades 3 and 5. U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. was in Tulsa Friday to hold a roundtable on those efforts.

Source: Education Department Announces Grants to Reduce and Improve Tests – Politics K-12 – Education Week

CORE: California’s SQII scores measure the whole school environment – Attendance Works

There’s a new report card for a group of school districts in California that takes an innovative approach to providing a holistic view of a school’s success in supporting student achievement. The School Quality Improvement Index (SQII), used by six* districts in the state, moves away from primarily relying on test scores and expands the metrics to include chronic absence, school climate, and student growth. The new system is closely being watched as a possible model to comply with new reporting requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), signed by President Obama in December.

Source: CORE: California’s SQII scores measure the whole school environment – Attendance Works Attendance Works

National student test scores confirm poor California performance – Daily Republic

By Dan Walters

The latest national academic tests tell us again that California’s public schools aren’t doing a very good job of educating more than 6 million youngsters.

Once again, California finds itself in the bottom tier, with New Mexico and Alabama, in the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests of fourth- and eighth-graders in math and English.

But if our schools aren’t performing particularly well, those who run the schools are again demonstrating their unmatched ability to make excuses for failure.

via National student test scores confirm poor California performance.

California is ahead of President Obama in reducing testing in schools | EdSource

By Louis Freedberg

California’s efforts to dilute the dominant role of testing in schools – prominently led by Gov. Jerry Brown – are getting support from some of the same players responsible for entrenching it in the national education reform agenda over the past decade.

In recent days, both President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan have called for reducing the standardized tests children have to take to 2 percent of their instructional time.

In California, that would amount to no more than 3.5 days per year out of an average school year of 180 instructional days. That would be in addition to the quizzes, tests, Advanced Placement exams and local district “benchmark” tests that students take on a regular basis throughout the year.

via California is ahead of President Obama in reducing testing in schools | EdSource.

Educators try to come to terms with low math scores on Smarter Balanced tests | EdSource

By Fermin Leal

As parents across the state open the envelopes containing their children’s scores on the new Smarter Balanced assessments administered last spring, only a third of them will see that their children met or exceeded the math standard on the new Common Core-aligned tests.

In fact, only one-third of California students in grades 3-8 and grade 11 met the math standard – compared to 44 percent of students who met the standard in English language arts. That is also significantly lower than the percentage who scored at a proficient level in math on the old California Standards tests.

via Educators try to come to terms with low math scores on Smarter Balanced tests | EdSource.

New state test results, trustee applicant process on VUSD agenda tonight – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

An update on the recently released state test results, the process for school board applicant interviews, and a six-figure contract for computer software that links several student databases is up for discussion by Vacaville Unified leaders.

The state test update will be heard, tonight, toward the end of the school board meeting. The information will be offered by Mark Frazier, chief academic officer, and Kim Forrest, director of instruction, curriculum and assessment.

Their remarks will come three weeks after the state Department of Education released results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, the first-ever all-computerized standardized tests in state history.

via New state test results, trustee applicant process on VUSD agenda tonight.

Test scores indicate more students ‘college ready’ in English language arts | EdSource

By Fermin Leal

The recently released Common Core-aligned test results show the percentage of California high school students identified as ready, or on pace to be ready by the time they graduate, for college-level English coursework increased; but for math, the percentage decreased compared to last year.

The Smarter Balanced assessments for English language arts and math, administered to almost 420,000 juniors in California this past spring, now serve as the main tool for California State University and nearly 80 community colleges statewide for measuring student readiness in those subjects.

Students who “exceed the standard” defined by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which devised the test, are considered ready for college-level courses, including courses that provide credits toward degrees. Students who “meet the standard” are considered “conditionally ready,” which means they’re on track to be ready by the end of their senior year in high school.

via Test scores indicate more students ‘college ready’ in English language arts | EdSource.

Vallejo school board hears presentation about poor test scores – Times Herald

By John Glidden

Days after the state released information showing many California students are not prepared for college, the Vallejo school board — during its Wednesday meeting — received information about district numbers.

Forty-four percent of California students met or exceeded the English language/literacy standard, while 33 percent met or exceeded the math standard, according to results from the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) test results.

Students in the Vallejo City Unified School District fared even worse.

Only 25 percent of VCUSD students exceeded or met the English standard, while 17 percent met or exceeded the math achievement.

via Vallejo school board hears presentation about poor test scores.

Test results, planning services contract, athletics budget on DUSD agenda – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

A presentation about the recent standardized state test results, a facilities master planning services contract, and the athletics budget are up for discussion by the Dixon Unified trustees.

They meet at 7 p.m. tonight.

Of the state tests, Mike Walbridge, assistant superintendent of educational services, will tell the board that 69 percent of some 1,700 students tested, in grades three to eight and 11, failed to meet state standards in mathematics. And 67 percent failed to do so in English.

How educators are doing statewide since Sept. 9, when the results were released, he will break down the scores by school and subgroups, including ethnicities and income levels. (Dixon Unified is a Title 1 district, meaning most of the students are classified as poor or low-income under federal guidelines.)

via Test results, planning services contract, athletics budget on DUSD agenda.

Proceed with caution when comparing California test scores with other states | EdSource

By Sarah Tully

Comparing California scores on tests aligned with the Common Core standards to those in other states isn’t a straightforward process.

California students’ results are among the lowest when compared to the other eight states that have released Smarter Balanced assessment scores so far. But drawing conclusions may be difficult because California’s student population is much larger and its schools enroll more English learners and low-income students. See charts of scores in eight Smarter Balanced states.

“It’s not just a straight across comparison,” Keric Ashley, California’s deputy superintendent of public instruction, warned during a Wednesday conference call with reporters. “We need to factor in being such a large state as we are – a large percentage of English learners, a large percentage of students in poverty. There are a lot of factors that go into place before making that comparison.”

via Proceed with caution when comparing California test scores with other states | EdSource.

Statement on Test Scores by CA State Board President (CA Dept of Education)

Test results released Wednesday by the California Department of Education set a new baseline for academic performance of students, schools and districts. The tests set standards at readiness for college unlike the old, multiple-choice tests they replaced. Results, in combination with new online instructional resources and local accountability tools, give parents, educators and stakeholders much more actionable data than ever before.

The results show that 53 percent of California’s students meet or nearly meet the English Language Arts achievement standards, and 48 percent meet or nearly meet the mathematics achievement standards. One of 10 students exceeds the standards for both subjects. At every grade level, English Language Arts results are stronger for girls than for boys. The results for math show much less gender disparity. Results for students from traditionally disadvantaged groups show significant achievement gaps.

These new tests aligned with the Common Core Standards ask a lot more of students than the old, multiple-choice exams. The new tests use computer adaptive technology to provide more accurate information about individual student performance. Along with reading to follow a story, students are asked to cite evidence and draw logical conclusions. They are using math to solve real-world problems.

via SBE News Release for September 10, 2015 – State Board of Education (CA Dept of Education).

Parents to receive results soon from state’s new standardized test – The Reporter

By Richard Bammer

By late August or early September, parents of students in Solano County public schools likely will receive results from a new standardized test, county education officials have announced.

However, state officials caution parents and the public against comparing the results of the new assessment with the old STAR exam, and acknowledge that many schools and students will need more time to become accustomed to the state’s standards and new exam.

“The online exams in English language arts/literacy and mathematics are based on the state’s more challenging academic standards and are helping us transform education to better prepare California students for college and careers in the 21st century,” County Superintendent of Schools Jay Speck said in a written statement.

via Parents to receive results soon from state’s new standardized test.