Some growth seen in test results for elementary schools

August 25, 2004
Santa Paula News

The STAR 2004 (Standardized Testing and Reporting Program) test results show some improvement for most elementary and middle school grades in Santa Paula.

By Brian D. WilsonSanta Paula TimesThe STAR 2004 (Standardized Testing and Reporting Program) test results show some improvement for most elementary and middle school grades in Santa Paula.The STAR testing was initially established in 1997. It requires that all public school districts in California administer standardized tests, designated by the State Board of Education, to all students in grades two through 11, including English learners and students with disabilities.One of the tests is the California Standards Tests (CSTs), multiple choice tests for all students in grades 2-11 and writing tests for students who take the grade four and seven multiple-choice tests. Another component is the California Achievement Tests (CAT/6), multiple-choice tests for all students, grades 2-11. The CAT/6 assesses each student’s achievement of basic skills compared to their national peer group.
Mercedes Ramirez, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services for the elementary district told district trustees that one problem is that 50 percent of the CSTs questions are changed each year. “We need to make sure that we continue having instruction as our focus,” she said. Trustee Tony Perez said he’d like to see fourth graders tracked to the fifth grade to see if there’s any growth.Ramirez noted that there was some growth in reading and language in every grade except for the sixth grade in the CAT/6 testing. In math there was growth in grades 4,5,6,7, and 8. There was no change in grade 2 and a small decrease in grade 3. In spelling there was growth in grades 2,4,5, and 7 and a small decrease in grades 3,6 and 8.In the CST testing she said that in the area of English Language Arts, grades 2,3,4,6,7 and 8 stayed about the same as last year. There were mixed results in grade 5. In math, grades 2,3,4,5 and 6 stayed the same. The eighth grade had mixed results as did grade 7. In grade 8 algebra there was a decrease in the proficient and basic areas and a slight increase in below basic and far below basic. For eighth grade history there was no change from last year. For grade 5 science there was no data from last year but based on data from this year Ramirez sad there is a need to increase the percentage of students scoring at the advanced and proficient levels.“Even though we saw some growth in our grades, we hope to see more growth in coming years,” Ramirez added.

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