http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/10/05/pusd-posts-gains-in-california-standards-testing


Pleasanton Weekly

News - October 5, 2012

PUSD posts gains in California Standards testing

Subgroups still lagging behind others in tests

by Glenn Wohltmann

Pleasanton school are making progress in teaching subgroups, like English language learners and economically disadvantaged students, according to an accountability report presented to the school board at its most recent meeting.

And the district has concrete plans to continue its efforts, according to its strategic plan, which was also offered at the Sept. 27 school board meeting.

"We need to have students placed where they can do the work," said School Board President Joan Laursen. She said students and their parents should be encouraged "so they can be on the correct path."

School districts across the country are struggling to meet the goals set by No Child Left Behind, which requires all students to be proficient in English and math by the end of the 2013-14 school year.

In preliminary results based on one set of tests, the California Standards Test, Asians, whites and Filipinos all were above the requirement to score 78% "proficient or better" for the 2011-12 school year.

The district is working to bump the scores of some subgroups.

"Almost every one of our subgroups made progress," said Superintendent Parvin Ahmadi.

English learners, for example, scored 33% proficient or better in English on the latest round of tests; although that's still well below the 78% requirement, it's above the 9% score from the 2010-11 school year.

African-American students, students with disabilities and socio-economically disadvantaged students are also below the 78% threshold, but their scores have also come up.

The district -- as is the case in many districts across the country -- is still working hard to bring up scores across the board in math.

Asian students, with a score of 89%, were the only subgroup that met the 78.2% proficient or above target for 2011-12; white students were at 70%, Filipinos scored 75%, and every other subgroup scored 50% or lower.

The district, however, has established goals and a pathway to achieve them, with specifics aimed at every subgroup in the district.

For example, it will "Eliminate racial, socio-economic, and gender predictability in achievement." As a benchmark toward progress, it plans to "increase in the number of English Learners moving up one CELDT (California English Language Development Test) level every year."

The objective meets the district's overall plan to make its goals SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.

"When school develop their site plans, they will have specific goals," Ahmadi told the board.

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