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Test Scores for Santa Monica-Malibu District Students Improve
By Jorge Casuso
October 5, 2017 -- Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District students in most grades improved their scores in the 2016-17 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) tests, continuing to outpace their county and state peers, District officials announced Wednesday.
Only students in fifth and eighth grades saw scores decline in the tests, which gauge skills in English language arts/Literacy (ELA) and mathematics, officials said.
Eighth grade scores, which declined from 56 to 50.46, reflect "an exclusion of more than 60 student scores from state reporting this year, causing the appearance of a decline from seventh to eighth grades and compared to last year’s eighth grade scores," officials said.
The biggest gain was among 11th graders, who saw a dramatic rise in ELA scores from 65 points to 80.27 points and an increase in math scores from 50 to 51.52 points.
ELA scores for 6th graders jumped from 69 to 74.26 points, while math scores rose from 54 points to 57.29 points.
“The test results reflect a high rate of success amongst SMMUSD students compared to their peers, which is a testament to our teachers, staff and administrators at our schools, along with parent support,” Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati said.
“That does not, however, mean we can relax," Drati said. "We are continuing to focus on access and opportunity for all students as we face an achievement gap within some of our subgroups including Latino, African American, English Learner and students with disabilities.”
Latino, African American, English Learner and students with disabilities groups showed gains in some areas, District officials said.
In thir third year, the computer-based tests measure success using California’s "challenging academic standards and asks students to write clearly, think critically, and solve complex problems, just as they will need to do in college and 21st century careers," District officials said.
“Our goal is to help all students graduate with the problem-solving and critical-thinking skills they need to prepare for college and a 21st century career,” Drati said.
“The results give parents a key measure of how well students are doing – and give teachers and schools information they need to differentiate instruction and help every child prepare for a bright future.”
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