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Local students improve scores on STAT 9

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

Results for the 2000 Stanford Achievement Test (STAT 9) show that Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District students scored higher overall compared to the state averages and to last year’s scores.

“All TTUSD STAT 9 percentile scores are significantly above state averages,” TTUSD Assistant Superintendent Jim Abbott said.

The STAT 9, which is published by Harcourt Educational Measurement, is a nationally-standardized multiple-choice test of basic academic skills. Results are shown in national percentiles, with the 50th percentile being the national average.

However, the content included in the STAT 9 at each grade does not precisely fit the curriculum as adopted by the State of California under the new content standards, Abbott said. A California Content Standards test was uniquely designed to measure performance on new California standards, which TTUSD students scored above average on as well.

“Except for mathematics at grade five, where the scores are virtually the same (as state averages), all other TTUSD scores on the state standards tests exceed the state averages,” Abbott said.

With the STAT 9 test, a total of 43 scores are reported for grades 2-11. Of these scores districtwide, six are at their 1999 levels and 26 showed increases in percentiles from 1999. The test was first issued to all California public school students in spring 1998.

The students were tested in reading, science, mathematics, spelling, language and social science.

Abbott said spelling has been an area of special concentration in the past two years.

“As a likely result of these efforts, all SAT 9 grade level percentile scores rose during the spring 2000 testing,” he said.

Fourth grade was the highest scoring grade, scoring 11 percentile points above the state average and six percentile points above the national average.

It is important to note when comparing test scores, that various subgroups have not been distinguished in the report yet. Districtwide, approximately 13 percent of students are Limited English Proficient (LEP). The scores printed with this story are based on the average of all students tested, both LEP and non-LEP.

Abbott said the scores of the non-LEP students are much higher than the scores of the LEP students.

He said it’s important to look at how many LEP students make up the group tested to compare the scores.

For example, the average scores for Kings Beach Elementary are lower than Glenshire Elementary. While the exact numbers of LEP students who took the 2000 STAT 9 at each site are not yet available, Kings Beach has approximately 53 percent LEP students and Glenshire has approximately 3 percent LEP students. Abbott said that last year, English proficient students at Kings Beach scored about the same as English proficient students at Glenshire.

TTUSD relies on multiple-assessments to track the academic achievement of their LEP students. All LEP students in the district were given the Spanish Assessment of Basic Education (SABE/2), the state approved Spanish language alternative to the STAT 9. On these tests, they scored above the statewide average scores for all students.

When students are tested in their native language, obviously they score higher, Abbott said.

The California Department of Education worked closely with the test publishers to ensure that student background data provided by the districts were more complete than in past years and these results will be released in August, according to a press release issued by CDE on July 17.

“We really cannot comment about the results on the STAT 9 for English-language learners, special education students, or other student subgroups until that information is posted in August,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin in a statement. “When these results are fully analyzed, we will be looking carefully at the programs we have initiated and what impact they are having on the academic achievement of all students.”

In Spring 2001, a writing assessment at grades 4 and 7 and science and history-social science tests at grades 9-11 will be added to the California Standards Tests.

STAT 9, SABE/2 and California Standards test results can be viewed at star.cde.ca.gov/star2000.


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