South Lake Tahoe schools rank average in new California testing |

South Lake Tahoe schools rank average in new California testing

California released its first round of test results for school districts statewide Wednesday, Sept. 9, and Lake Tahoe Unified School District hit the state average.

The scores reflect tests taken in the 2014-15 academic year, which ended in June.

“I think we did well overall, but there’s always room for improvement,” said school district superintendent Dr. James Tarwater on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

The new test, called California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, replaced the state’s previous paper-based Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program.

Third-through-eighth-graders and high school juniors took the exams.

Districtwide, 56 percent of all students tested met or nearly met English literacy and language arts standards, while another 28 percent failed to do so. Another 17 percent exceeded standards in the category.

Mathematics fared worse. Only 22 percent of all students met standards and 37 percent failed to do so.

For high school juniors, 63 percent of those tested didn’t meet standards. Another 33 percent met or nearly met mathematical test standards.

The state average mathematics score for high school juniors was 29 percent.

The new testing system scores students on a range depending on grades tested. For high school juniors, mathematical scores range from 2,280 to 2,862. Standard achievement score ranges from 2,628 to 2,717.

According to the California Department of Education, 2,219 Lake Tahoe Unified School district students, or 97.2 percent of students, took the test.

The new test scores reflect the state’s efforts to adopt Common Core education standards for mathematics and English arts/literacy across the K-12 education system.

Tarwater said the 2014-15 scores will act as the baseline for the new score system. He added that the average scores shouldn’t reflect on the students’ goals overall.

Where the STAR test was on paper and multiple-choice, the new testing standard embraces technology and adaptive, critical thinking.

“These are different standards than the old testing system and it’s a lot more challenging,” Tarwater said.

For more information on the Lake Tahoe Unified School District test results, visit

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