Calif. test scores show drops in English, math categories for Tahoe/Truckee students | SierraSun.com

Calif. test scores show drops in English, math categories for Tahoe/Truckee students

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; Initial statewide testing scores show declines locally in English Language Arts at the high school level and in mathematics from English language learner students, as well as an increase in basic algebra skills.

On Tuesday, the 2009-10 California Standards Tests scores were unveiled. Statewide results slightly increased for the eighth year in a row, rising across most demographics and grade levels. Overall, 52 percent of state students were at or above proficiency in English and 48 percent were at or above proficiency in math, up two points in each subject from the year before.

Below is a breakdown of how the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District fared in some categories; phone calls and e-mails to school district officials seeking comment Tuesday for this story went unreturned:

and#8226; In grades 9-11, the students categorized as at or above proficiency in English Language Arts dropped by a few percentage points from 2009 and#8212; with 10th graders dropping the farthest at 9 percent and#8212; to a 51 percent overall proficiency.

and#8226; In Algebra 1, ninth-grade students rose from 16 percent at or above proficiency to 20 percent, while 10th graders catapulted from 7 percent in 2009 to a 20 percent proficiency level. Despite that progress, 11th graders plummeted from a proficiency level of 31 percent in 2009 to 4 percent this year.

and#8226; With exception of eighth grade, the district’s middle school test scores were up from last year in English Language Arts. Grades 6-7 increased by 5 percent, with both 67 percent at or above proficiency.

and#8226; In mathematics, middle school students across the board raised their scores, with eighth graders jumping 14 percent in the general mathematics category, with 51 percent of students at or above proficiency this year. Likewise, sixth and seventh grade improved scores by 6 percent and 5 percent, respectively; the sixth grade is 67 percent at or above proficiency, while the seventh grade sits at 66 percent.

and#8226; For elementary students, grades 2-5 were tested, and results showed a plateau from 2009 in the way of English Language Arts. The largest rise from last year came from the district’s second- and fifth-grade students, who increased by 3 percent, totaling 51 percent and 72 percent at or above proficiency, respectively. The fourth grade had the largest ELA drop, from 76 percent to 65 percent at or above proficiency, an 11 percent decline.

Though it is not always easy to evaluate students who are English language learners due to the fact many are reclassified as English proficient students each year, testing has also shown a drop in the proficiency of EL students in mathematics in grades 3-5:

and#8226; With the three grades in decline, the fourth graders showed a significant drop of 11 percent, falling to 48 percent at or above proficiency in math. Similarly, third and fifth graders dropped by 9 percent, falling to a 42 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

and#8226; Second-grade EL students remained the same in mathematics at a 48 percent or above level.

Within the category of English language arts, female students led the way in all levels except third grade.

However, in mathematics between grades 2-7, males and females were more evenly split, with females testing at higher levels in grades 2, 4 and 5, and males testing higher in grades 3, 6, and 7.