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Hart district scores up

Every school shows improvement

Posted: August 14, 2008 8:51 p.m.
Updated: October 16, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Every school in the Hart district showed improved scores in the English-language arts portion of the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program (STAR) tests, according to results released Thursday."At every school across the district, students showed an increase in their scores in English-language arts, with some schools showing significant increases," said Dave LeBarron, director of curriculum and assessment for the William S. Hart Union High School District.

The STAR tests are taken by all California students, whose scores are assessed at five levels: Advanced, proficient, basic, below basic and far below basic.

Eleventh-graders made the highest gain in English-language arts, with an 8 percent increase in the top two levels of proficiency (advanced and proficient). Among the schools in the district, Valencia High School's scores went up the most percentage points in English-language arts, also with an 8 percent increase over last year's scores.

"Both blacks and Hispanics also improved their scores in English-language arts across the board at every grade level," LeBarron said. "We work with the faculties and staff at all of our schools in order to help them serve our subgroups."

The district's overall English-language arts score of 61 percent was nearly 20 percent higher than the county score of 42 percent and 15 percent higher than the state's 46 percent score.

"In fact, we topped the state and county in every category," LeBarron said.

In addition to English-language arts, the STAR tests also measure how well students have mastered skills in mathematics, history and science. The Hart district's scores improved in most categories.

"Our numbers show that our students tested very well last spring across the board - large groups of students, as well as our subgroups," LeBarron said. "All these numbers are just a tool that we assess so that we know the areas we need to improve upon, and the areas we are doing well in, based on the data."

On the mathematics portion of the test, Hart district students posted strong scores for the fourth year in a row. More students than ever before are taking algebra in the seventh and eighth grades, and more than 90 percent of those students are scoring at proficient or advanced levels.

Hart students scored more than 20 points higher than county students in math categories, outscoring the county by 30 percent in geometry and summative high school math.

The district's overall STAR test results by category, and the percentage of increase over 2007, were as follows: English-language arts, 61 percent (+3); history, 50 percent (+3); mathematics, 50 percent (+1); and science, 63 percent (+5).

These raw scores will form the basis of the state's Academic Performance Index (API) and are one component of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) rankings, both of which will be released Sept. 4.

"We're looking forward to seeing API and AYP, because we are going to do well," district spokeswoman Pat Willett.


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