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School test scores above state average

Jeff Clemetson, Sierra Sun

Stanford Achievement Test (SAT-9) results are in and, once again, the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District scored well above the state average.

“Generally, it looks pretty good compared to state percentiles,” said TTUSD test assessor Jim Abbott. “On the whole it’s a positive report.”

Students in TTUSD schools scored a higher percentile above the state in all grade levels for reading, math, language and spelling, with the exception of second and third grade levels in spelling.

Abbott said that the lower test results are probably a result of testing Spanish-speaking students gradually transitioning into English.

Truckee Elementary and Kings Beach Elementary, both schools with a large number of Spanish-speaking students, scored below the state percentile, while the rest of the district’s elementary schools scored well above it. Abbott said the trend doesn’t go into the fourth grade, when most students have been immersed into English language programs.

For elementary schools, Tahoe Lake/Rideout students scored consistently the best on the SAT-9, and Kings Beach scored the lowest.

Sierra Mountain Middle School scored better than North Tahoe Middle and Tahoe-Truckee High students scored better than North Tahoe High did.

In the California Standards Test, TTUSD students outscored the average in English/language arts and math.

For the first time, students in the fourth and seventh grades were tested on their writing. While fourth grade students scored above the state average, TTUSD seventh-graders scored slightly lower. Abbott said that the low test results could be a reflection of the test’s newness, adding that none of the districts scored in the top ranking for the test statewide.

For the third straight year, test results show a statewide gain in scores for students in all areas.

“Overall, scores are up and that’s good news,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin in a statement. “However, the performance on the new California Standards Test reveals that we still have much work to do to achieve world-class results.”

Scores on the standards-based tests in language arts show that only 30 percent of students are meeting these goals, Eastin said.

Because the SAT-9 tests are based off of a national average that was created in the early ’80s, Abbott said that it isn’t directly set to current state standards in learning.

“Over time the California Standards test will weigh more and schools may move to that,” he said.


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