Good news: Lodi Unified students in all but one grade significantly raised their standardized test scores in both math and English language over last year, according to results released Thursday.
Bad news: The same students fared lower than the state average when it came to English alone on the Standardized Testing and Reporting exams taken last spring.
The tests evaluate second-through 11th-graders on various subjects, including language arts and mathematics. The tests rank students from "far below basic" proficiency to "advanced," and results show what percentage of students fall into those categories by class.
"We are moving up," said Odie Douglas, associate superintendent for educational services for LUSD. "Our teachers are making great strides … and it shows."
The district's overall results appear in line with the statewide figures, which show a growing number of California students met state standards for English and math this year.
On average, 39 percent of Lodi students were proficient in English, while 46 percent were proficient in math.
Although he and his staff were still digesting the results Thursday afternoon, Douglas said there are some challenges in reaching some of the district's sub-groups, including black, Latino and disabled students.
Local resultsClick on the links below to search for STAR results for Lodi-area schools. To find your school, first select a city (for example, Lodi or Galt) and then select from the list of schools.
- News-Sentinel Staff
State results mixedAcross California, 46 percent of students were proficient or advanced in English language arts on the exam, up three percent from last year. Forty-three percent were proficient in math, a two-percent gain from 2007.
"This year's gains are particularly encouraging," state Superintendent of Education Jack O'Connell said of the state as a whole. "But the fact remains that an achievement gap exists."
In the press release, O'Connell noted that scores among black and Latino students were more than 10 points lower than their white and Asian counterparts. He was particularly concerned about black students.
He pointed to English language arts results, in which only 33 percent of black students scored proficient, as compared to 32 percent of Latino students, who encompass a large group of English-language learners.
"We have not made progress," he said. "This indicates a crisis in education for our black children. These results tell us we must redouble our efforts."
Nearly 5 million students in second through 11th grade took the STAR exams last spring. Districts use the results to determine whether schools are meeting minimum requirements set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Scores from the California Standards Tests, which is part of the STAR program, are used to determine a school's Academic Performance Index, or API. A school's API is a reflection of how well a school performed during the last school year.
- The Associated Press
"We are making progress, though," he added, pointing toward community outreach, such as the meeting the district had with First 5 leaders over the past weekend.
The largest improvement in math in Lodi Unified were the fourth-graders, who raised their scores by six percent, while fifth-graders increased by six percent in English language. Seventh-graders' math scores went down six points. Douglas said administrators would likely be reviewing the curriculum for that grade level.
Comparatively, seventh-graders in Galt Joint Union Elementary made great strides raising their English scores by 10 percentage points, while third-graders saw the largest jump by six percent, from 2007 to 2008.
Galt High School students showed improvement in math, especially in algebra, where ninth-graders jumped from 19 to 32 percent. The state average is only 18 percent, according to Assistant Superintendent Edith Crawford.
"The math department has been working really hard," she said.
All scores also increased in English language, especially the freshman class, whose results went up 4 percent over last year's 55 percent proficient, and advanced at Galt High.
Contact Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.