Monday, August 16, 2010

SD Unified Test Scores Gain for Fourth Straight Year

Achievement Gap Narrows in Some Areas; Work Still Needed

San Diego Unified’s results on 2010 state tests show across the board gains for the fourth straight year, with more students than ever ranking “advanced” in their subject knowledge.

The results of the annual California Standards Test released today show the district has five straight years of overall gains in English language arts and science scores, while math continues a four-year climb.

This good news is tempered by recognition that scores still show an “achievement gap” among ethnic groups. Data relating to the achievement gap — test scores among ethnic groups — is still being analyzed, but early results show the gap is narrowing in some areas, albeit slowly.

 “We need to salute our students first, who have been working very hard to learn the skills they’ll need for the future,” said Superintendent Bill Kowba. “Our teachers and staff also deserve recognition for a job well done.”

Growth continued in the three subject areas. In English Language Arts, overall scores show 29 percent of the students proficient and 27 percent are advanced — up from 23 percent in 2009 — while 26 percent had a basic skill level, down 1 percent from 2009. Below basic and far below basic levels also declined. Students with an advanced level of mathematics grew 2 percent to 23 percent and those considered proficient remained at 25 percent; basic went up one point to 23, while below basic and far below basic declined to 20 and 8 respectively.

Science scores rose as well, up 8 points to 30 percent advanced, while proficient remained at 27 percent; students with a basic level dropped two points to 24 percent, while below basic dropped 2 points to 11 percent and far below basic was down 2 points to 9 percent.

“These gains in student achievement have come during a period when our district has sustained unprecedented budget cuts,” said Kowba. “But even in the face of draconian budget cuts, schools throughout the district have been making gains in student achievement with a community-based reform process that encourages teacher collaboration, data-driven teaching strategies, a broad curriculum and strong behavioral standards and support for students.”

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