Richmond high schools fall short on standardized tests
on November 11, 2010
While overall standardized test scores rose statewide for the eighth consecutive year, few public high school students in Richmond meet the state standards for proficiency, according to state data.
Each spring, all California public school students in second through eleventh grades take a series of tests that make up the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program.
Among other things, the California Department of Education uses STAR results to measure student achievement on state academic content standards.
The department releases individual reports at the state, county, district, and school levels, but nothing that compiles and compares the data as shown below. The charts show the percentage of students who achieved at least a “proficient” level on the California Standards Tests (CST), according to 2010 STAR results. The data compare the proficiency results of public high schools in Richmond (including charter schools) to those of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Contra Costa County, and the state of California.
The CST, which cover English, math, science, and history-social science, make up the foundation of the STAR Program. The California Board of Education has established five benchmarks to indicate a student’s proficiency on the tests: Advanced, Proficient, Basic, Below Basic, and Far Below Basic. The board has designated “proficient” or above as the target for all students.
A student is considered “proficient” when he or she has scored at least 350 points on a 600-point scaled test. That means a student needs to score just under 60 percent to pass.
Although the Board of Education wants all schools to achieve 100 percent proficiency by 2014, this year’s CST results show many California students still fall short, despite making yearly gains. In an August press release, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said he was “pleased that more than half of our students are proficient or advanced in English-language arts and nearly half are Proficient or Advanced in mathematics.”
Not every tested subject for every grade appears below because of missing or incomplete data. Calls to West Contra Costa school district officials were not returned as of this story’s deadline.
9th Grade Algebra Proficiency
9th Grade Biology Proficiency
9th Grade English Proficiency
10th Grade Algebra Proficiency
10th Grade Biology Proficiency
10th Grade English Proficiency
10th Grade Geometry Proficiency
10th Grade Science Proficiency
10th Grade World History Proficiency
11th Grade English Proficiency
11th Grade U.S. History Proficiency
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I hope Richmond Confidential does more stories on education, and hopefully stories with more depth.
The CST scores were released a while ago, and this story really doesn’t say much (beyond the obvious).
There is so much to report on in Richmond schools — both good and bad. The district has a past rich with mismanagement, the teacher’s union had a contentious leadership battle. If you want to delve into test scores, look at the schools doing well and why schools with similar demographic don’t (or vice versa). Would love to see some real reporting done on WCCUSD! Stories are out there … Go find them!