By Jason KUROSU
Students at Glendale, La Crescenta and La Cañada schools scored above state and county averages on California’s initial round of Common Core aligned testing, according to recently released data from the California Dept. of Education.
Scores for the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP, were released last week, charting English and math scores for grades 3 through 8, and 11 on the new computer testing that replaces California’s long utilized STAR standardized tests.
While 45% of students statewide met or exceeded Common Core state standards in English and 33% met or exceeded standards in math, the Glendale Unified School District posted scores of 58% of students meeting or exceeding English standards and 49% meeting or exceeding math standards. The scores reflect test results for 15,413 students.
Lynn Marso, GUSD assistant superintendent of Educational Services, attributed the district’s scores to the i-Ready assessments that GUSD students took in 2014 and “the intense professional development that took place over the last couple of years.”
Marso said that the i-Ready tests prepared GUSD students for the kind of “computer adaptive testing” that is used on CAASPP tests. The district purchased 6,500 Chromebooks in anticipation of the new computer testing.
Scores for specific schools and districts are available on the CAASPP website. Individual student scores are not available online, but Marso said GUSD parents will be receiving those reports in the mail sometime in October.
Meanwhile, the La Cañada Unified School District scored exceptionally high on the initial round of testing, with 85% of students meeting or exceeding the English standards and 82% meeting or exceeding math standards. The scores reflect test results for 2,560 students.
“We were challenged to redefine teaching and learning for the 21st century and our parents, staff, teachers and especially our students rose to that challenge,” said Andrew Blumenfeld, president of the La Cañada Unified School District Governing Board. “We celebrate our role as national standard bearers, no longer merely number two in the state. La Cañada helps define and push the boundaries of what people conceive of as possible in education. In our community, we are fond of saying that our success is intentional. This is a shining example. Excellence doesn’t happen by accident. We had the right people doing the right work, supported by the right policies. We look forward to pushing ourselves even further as we move forward.”
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said the first round of CAASPP tests will serve as a baseline to measure future progress, but said that a period of adjustment should be expected as CAASPP testing is gradually introduced to California students.
“California is in the process of transforming its schools with increased funding, higher academic standards, more local control and additional support for students and schools with the greatest needs – and this will take time,” Torlakson said in a statement. “This is our first academic check-up on how that work is going, and so I ask parents and educators to take that into account, use this information wisely to help their students, and understand this is a baseline that we will build upon.”
Glendale and La Cañada also performed well when compared with Los Angeles County as a whole, which had 42% of students meeting or exceeding English standards and 31% meeting or exceeding math standards.
Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School students meeting or exceeding English standards was 92% and meeting or exceeding in math was 79%.
Crescenta Valley High School students meeting or exceeding English standards was 84% and in math meeting or exceeding was 62%.
La Cañada High School students meeting or exceeding English standards was 90% and in math meeting or exceeding was 79%.
To find CAASPP scores for individual schools and other school districts, visit http://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2015/Search.