The California Department of Education today released the student performance results for the 2016/17 California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, with the data showing William S. Hart Union High School District students continuing to outpace their peers county- and state-wide.
The CAASPP is the state’s annual academic assessment program measuring how well students have mastered the Common Core English language arts and mathematics standards, which were adopted by the state in 2010.
“Even though our numbers have changed little, they are impressive, especially compared to county and state scores,” said David LeBarron, director of curriculum and assessment for the Hart School District.
The tests, taken last spring by approximately 10,200 7th, 8th, and 11th-grade students, measure student proficiency in the state’s academic content standards of mathematics, English language arts and literacy – the specific content that students are expected to master at each grade level.
Student scores on the CAASPP tests fall into one of four performance levels, ranging from standard not met, standard nearly met, standard met, and standard exceeded. The goal is to increase the percentage of students scoring standard met and above, while decreasing the percentage of students who score standard nearly met and below.
Below is a chart that shows the percentage of Hart District students meeting and exceeding standards compared with students across the county and the state:
ELA Hart District County State
7th Grade 69 48 50
8th Grade 68 46 48
11th Grade 81 59 60
Mathematics Hart District County State
7th Grade 55 34 37
8th Grade 58 34 37
11th Grade 47 21 32
In anticipation of the accountability that will be tied to how well high school juniors perform on the English and mathematics CAASPP assessments, the Hart District board increased the math requirement for graduation from 20 to 30 credits.
This requirement, that begins with the class of 2019, this year’s junior class, will ensure that all students are in math classes until they take the CAASPP.
Next spring’s administration will be the first CAASPP administration where all Hart District students taking the assessments are still enrolled in math classes, and growth in student performance in mathematics is anticipated.
All of the Hart School District’s subgroups outperformed their county peers in both the English language arts and mathematics assessments.
“Hart District students do well on state assessments because we place a strong focus on ensuring that our students are taught the State’s academic content standards, which is what the tests assess,” LeBarron said. “Every one of our schools has a professional development plan that focuses on research-based programs that improve student learning.
“Our goal is not to improve test scores on the CAASPP,” LeBarron explained. “Our goal is to be sure that our students are well educated and challenged to their highest ability level and as a result, they do perform well on the annual state assessments.
Le Barron noted that the CAASPP scores are only one piece of the assessment picture, but they are the piece that is the largest for the public.
“We take it very seriously,” he said. “Our students’ performance on the state assessments is a measure we use to evaluate our instructional programs.”