Students in the San Ramon Valley are continuing to excel on standardized tests, according to results released by the state Department of Education. As sophomores showed improvement on the high school exit exam, the district continues to make gains in the percentage of students scoring at the "proficient and advanced" levels on the STAR test.
Results from the 2012 standardized testing and reporting (STAR) program show students in the San Ramon Valley Unified are doing extremely well in all subjects and grades. Of the 23,356 students in grades two through 11 who took the tests, 86.2 percent scored proficient or above in English/language arts and 79.5 percent in mathematics.
"It is exciting to see continuous improvement in an already high-achieving district, particularly when we continue to add and test more and more students," said Superintendent Mary Shelton.
Despite an increase of 622 students taking the exam this year, an equal or higher percentage scored proficient or advanced in nine of 10 grade levels in the language arts portion, while four of six grade levels in elementary/middle school general math (grades two through seven). The largest percentage of students scoring proficient or advanced was fourth grade, where 93 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in English/language arts. Ninety-one percent of second, third and fourth graders scored proficient or advanced in mathematics.
Students have made additional improvements in writing scores on the California standards test, which is tested in the fourth and seventh grades. Ninety-eight percent of fourth grade students passed the test -- up 13 percent from last year -- while 80 percent of seventh graders received the highest score possible, a four percent increase.
Under the STAR program, California students attain one of five levels of performance for each subject tested: advanced, proficient, basic, below basic and far below basic; the state Board of Education has established the "proficient" level as the desired achievement goal for all students. Proficient students demonstrate a "competent and adequate understanding of the knowledge and skills measured by the assessment at a particular grade, in a particular content area."
Approximately 4.7 million California students participated in the 2012 STAR program, which consists of the following exams:
- California standards tests (CSTs): standards-based tests that measure the achievement of state content standards for English/language arts, mathematics, science and history/social science.
- California modified assessment (CMA): designed for students with disabilities whose individualized education program team determines that the CMA is appropriate and who meet state Board of Education-adopted eligibility criteria. The CMA is designed to provide students an accessible assessment of their achievement of the California content standards.
- California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA): for students who have significant cognitive disabilities and assess them in the content areas of English/language arts, mathematics and science.
- Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS): for Spanish-speaking, English learner students who either receive instruction in Spanish or have been enrolled in a school in the United States for less than 12 months. The STS assesses these students in reading/language arts and mathematics. Students who complete the STS also complete the CST and/or CMA for their grade level.
Results are posted on the California Department of Education website at http://star.cde.ca.gov star.cde.ca.gov. Individual student reports have already been mailed out.