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MUSD students deliver the grade

Superintendent pleased with state Standards Test results

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POSTED August 20, 2009 3:14 a.m.
Jason Messer was pleased with the California Standards Test results released a few days ago.

CST consisted of five performance areas – advanced, proficient, basic, below basic and far below basic – in English-language arts and math.

The state’s goal is for all students at all grade levels to score at the proficient or advanced levels in the various subject areas.

Manteca Unified is within that goal.

“Our CSTs reflect a continuation of improvement at all of our schools and grades at Manteca Unified across the board,” the district superintendent said on Wednesday.

The CST is part of the 2009 Standardized Testing and Reporting Program. The tests here were administered to second- through 11th-grade students by the California Department of Education.

The state requirement for this year called for at least 46 percent of students at each grade level to score proficient or advanced in the English-language art portion, and 47.5 percent or better in the math test.

At New Haven, for example, 60 percent of the sixth-grade students tested came out proficient (37 percent) or advanced (23 percent) in English-language arts coupled with 55 percent exceeding the state mark in math (22 percent were advanced, 33 percent were proficient).

Of the 98.4 percent of French Camp School’s fourth-grade students that tested in English-language arts, 57 percent were proficient (33 percent) or advanced (24 percent). The same group did much better in math (83 percent out of 100), with 56 percent achieving advanced and 27 percent scoring proficient.

French Camp is a Program Improvement site, thus, receiving Title 1 funding as specified under the federal mandate, No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

“They’re looking very strong,” Messer said.

In this case, he’s more concerned about French Camp’s Academic Yearly Progress.

Messer and other educators throughout the state are awaiting the Academic Performance Index scores due to be released by next month.

If the CST is an indicator, he believes more Manteca Unified sites will achieve the state-wide API goal of 800 or better.

New Haven, Brock Elliott and Veritas were part of the “800” club a year ago, with Messer hoping to see an increased membership.

“All of our schools are over ‘700’ and several others are close or closing in on ‘800,’” he said.

In the past, the district relied on Michael Zaravich, who was the testing and evaluation coordinator. But the position was a casualty of the recent budget cuts, said Messer.

“Now, it will be up to the principals at each of the school sites to look at the individual grade levels (on the CSTs), interpret and determine the areas of focus,” he said.

Messer was pleased overall with CSTs and is anticipating positive results with the soon-to-be-released API scores.

“We’ll see some real numbers,” he said.

And will those numbers indicate?

“It doesn’t matter what school your kid attends in Manteca Unified,” Messer said. “He or she will receive a good, solid education.”

Information and results of each school and district can be found at http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2009/.
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