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Manteca still lags behind state average in CAASPP test results
Stella Brockman School second grade students in Lora Richters classroom check their assignments on the projector screen. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

The average Manteca Unified student is lagging behind the average California student in math, English, and literacy goals based on a statewide standard test.
It is a different story in the 3,100-student Ripon Unified School District. Test scores show that Ripon students — except for  fifth grade — easily exceeded the typical Golden State student when it came to meeting or exceeding state comprehension goals
The second year of California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress for the 23,900-student Manteca Unified School District shows across the board improvement in testing for English language arts and literacy proficiency. It was a mixed bag for math with students at the third, fourth, and fifth grades making gains. Sixth graders and high school juniors showed no change in test results in terms of the percentage of students that met or exceeded standards. Eighth graders slipped in their testing.
“MUSD is committed to the development of each and every student, the new state test “California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress” is another tool for us as a district to utilize with our students and teachers to help move all our students to becoming career and college ready,” Manteca Unified Deputy Superintendent Roger Goacther said in a statement. “I am pleased with the overall trends of growth we have made from year one to year two of the new assessment and the utilization of our new curriculum.  We look for even better results for this school year. The daily efforts of our dedicated teachers, and the support from our families, provides the basis for our students to demonstrate positive gains in the early years of the new assessment system.”
More than 14,000 Manteca Unified students at the third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and 11th grade levels took the test in the spring. That represents 99 percent of the eligible students.
The CAASPP testing — now with two years completed — is a major departure from STAR (Standard Testing and Reporting) that the state had used to measure the performance of schools and students.
They are taken on computers. That allows the generation of individual results that show what each student needs to work on as well as how well they grasp subjects. The information is shared with parents. Teachers then use the individual results to help fine tune teaching strategies for each student.
Those who are looking for a ranking based on percentage or percentile to compare schools and school districts will be disappointed with CAASPP test results. That’s because they are centered on comparing individuals and not schools when it comes to judging performance and how well standards are being met.
There are four broad groups in the reporting data — those students that exceed the standard, those that met the standard, and those that nearly met the standard, and standard not met.
On the STAR tests percentages were generated for specific percentile rankings of schools.
Ripon Unified, for example, that under STAR tests was consistently in the 80 and 90 rankings also is among the top performing school districts in the CAASPP tests.
But if you look at the results in terms of the numbers you may not think that is the case.
Ripon Unified, as an example, overall has 54 percent of its students that meet or exceed standards in English language arts/literacy and 41 percent for math in the CAASPP test results. Statewide, the percentage of students that met or exceeded standards in English arts was 44 percent and in math 33 percent. The numbers for Manteca Unified are 39 percent for English and 25 percent for math.
Under the old STAR test people were used to seeing numbers in the 80s and 90s and often erroneously equated those numbers to scoring ranges that generally assign letter grades such as “A”, “B”, “C”, and “D” to student performances.
Educators in both the Manteca and Ripon districts stress the test is just one measure of how well students are learning.
CAASPP includes Smarter Balanced computer-adaptive tests that provide “appropriately challenging questions” based upon individual student ability making them more precise and better able to provide diagnostic information about student learning. The tests are based on California’s challenging academic standards, requiring students to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems—the skills needed to be successful in college and 21st century careers.
A comparison of the percentage of overall students at various that have met or exceeded standards in math for California, Manteca Unified, and Ripon Unified are as follows:
Third grade: State 40%, Manteca 33%, Ripon 48%
Fourth grade: State 39%, Manteca 25%, Ripon 45%
Fifth grade: State 30%, Manteca 19%, Ripon 27%
Sixth grade: State 33%, Manteca 22%, Ripon 42%
Seventh grade: State 34%, Manteca 25%, Ripon 48%
Eighth grade: State 33%, Manteca 28%, Ripon 50%
11th grade: State 29%, Manteca 21%, Ripon 30%
Overall: State 33%, Manteca 25%, Ripon 41%
A comparison of the percentage of overall students at various that have met or exceeded standards in English language arts/literacy for California, Manteca Unified, and Ripon Unified are as follows:
Third grade: State 38%, Manteca 32%, Ripon 43%
Fourth grade: State 40%, Manteca 33%, Ripon 55%
Fifth grade: State 44%, Manteca 40%, Ripon 46%
Sixth grade: State 42%, Manteca 36%, Ripon 49%
Seventh grade: State 44%, Manteca 37%, Ripon 62%
Eighth grade: State 45%, Manteca 43%, Ripon 54%
11th grade: State 55%, Manteca 53%, Ripon 72%
Overall: State 44%, Manteca 39%, Ripon 54%