State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced this past week the results from the 2017-18 state assessment, results showing that overall Pleasanton Unified students have continued their tradition of excellent performance.
The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) is given to all students statewide in grades 3-8 and 11, and aims to measure student progress in meeting state educational standards.
Students in PUSD achieved results significantly higher than statewide averages in both English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics -- with 81% of district students meeting or exceeding ELA standards, and 77% at or above standards in math. State averages of students meeting standards stood at 49.88% in ELA and 38.65% in math; county averages were at 56.05% for ELA and 48.6% for math.
"We are pleased to see another year of strong results reflecting the academic excellence of our students," said Superintendent David Haglund in a statement. "These CAASPP scores are one of a number of measures that help inform the District's work in bolstering success and providing needed supports for every student."
This was the fourth year of the computer-based CAASPP being used as the state assessment, and the 2017-18 season saw over 3 million students take it. Though the CAASPP includes multiple forms of assessments, the one most commonly administered is the Smarter Balanced Summative Assessment.
Pleasanton's scores remained constant overall from the 2016-17 year, but saw increases for some sub-groups. English learners performing at or above standards increased by 6% in ELA and 10% in math; of students reclassified as English learners, an additional 4% met or exceeded state standards in ELA while 1% more did so in math.
For students with disabilities, an additional 1% of students met or exceeded state standards in ELA and another 2% were at or above standards for math.
There is still room to grow, however, staff said.
"The data suggest that the District should continue to enhance academic supports to close achievement gaps and will strengthen programs that support 11th grade students in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics," said PUSD spokesman Patrick Gannon in a statement.
At the state level, California students saw overall increases as well. The 49.88% of students meeting or exceeding ELA standards was a 1.32% increase from the year before, and a 5.88% jump from 2015; the 38.65% for math was a 1.09% increase from 2017 and another 5.65% from 2015.
"We're encouraged by what we see, especially since these tests are more rigorous than previous paper and pencil tests," Torlakson said in his Oct. 2 announcement. "However, we need to make sure all students continue to make progress. We must continue our work to narrow achievement gaps as we raise the bar for our students, and better prepare for them for 21st century college and careers."