Districts students score above state average | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Districts students score above state average

Mary Thompson

Students in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District showed their intellectual prowess by scoring higher than state averages on 75 percent of the state’s academic assessment test this year.

The multiple-choice test, called the Stanford 9 Achievement Test, assesses students in grades two through eight in reading, mathematics, written expression and spelling and grades nine through 11 in reading, writing, mathematics, science and history/social science. The results can be used to compare students as a group on a statewide level or to measure progress against last year’s scores.

According to LTUSD Assistant Superintendent Barbara Davis, 65 percent of the district’s scores either increased or stayed the same when compared to last year’s results.

In addition, students answered test questions for the Standardized Testing and Reporting program, called the STAR augmentation, to measure competency for the state-adopted standards in reading, math and writing. According to Davis, 95 percent of the LTUSD scores were higher than state averages.

“In general, LTUSD scores are impressive,” she said. “The district’s reading and language scores are 4 percent higher than the state’s. Science scores are 7 percent higher and social science are 1 percent higher. Math and spelling scores are within 1 percent of the state’s averages.

Because of a counting error on the part of California’s Standardized Testing and Reporting program, results for students who speak English as a second language have not been released. Davis said about 20 percent of the LTUSD students have limited proficiency in English and that the results should be released in late July.

Although scores were up at the LTUSD elementary schools, middle school and in 11th-grade results, ninth- and 10th-grade scores showed a slight drop from last year.

Davis said some of the high scores earned by the LTUSD students could be credited to additional training that has gone into the LTUSD’s language arts program and that the district will be looking at ways to improve the lower scores.

“The (language arts program) emphasis appears to have had a positive effect on student achievement in reading and writing,” she said. “There are several areas that the district has plans to address in the next school year.”

A major portion of the district’s strategy includes staff development.

According to Davis, the district plans to provide extra training in math and spelling to its kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers while reading and writing training sessions will be offered to high school teachers in the district. Additionally, the district plans to reduce ninth-grade reading and writing classes to 20 students this fall.

“I am confident that these plans for the 1999-2000 school year will produce even more improved scores next spring,” Davis said.

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