Mt. Diablo USD News Update
Where Kids Come First
August 16, 2011
Over the past four years, because of the state budget crisis, we've made significant programmatic reductions at our school sites. Despite these reductions our teachers, support staff, and administrators continue to work incredibly hard to meet the learning needs of our students. Please join me in recognizing and thanking these dedicated professionals.
The annual STAR results were released yesterday by the California Department of Education. As a District, we will continue to focus on the use of internal and external assessment data to guide instructional decisions. General trends in student performance on the STAR test reinforce the need for
a strategic and targeted approach to standards-based instruction and assessment
continued focus on improving the learning opportunities for all students
particular attention on efforts to close the achievement gap between our higher
performing students and students performing at far below and below basic levels.
In mathematics, STAR results showed a slight increase District-wide in the percentage of
students achieving proficient and advanced levels. At the elementary level, many schools made significant gains in the number of students at these two levels, and almost all of our middle schools made some gains in this area. In order to ensure all our students will be able to compete in the global economy, we must continue to increase the number of students taking the Algebra II and the Summative Math California Standards Tests and increase the percentage of students measuring proficient or advanced on these tests. Job trend data clearly confirms high school graduates who have a firm understanding of Algebra II math skills will have a broader opportunity for living wage jobs and careers.
In English Language Arts, STAR results showed inconsistent achievement across District
schools. At the elementary level our English Learner students showed some gains, but not at the same level as their gains in math. In most middle schools, test scores reflected greater student proficiency in language arts. At the high school level, students at Mt. Diablo High School demonstrated increased performance in both language arts and mathematics.
Overall, the results of statewide testing reinforces the need for site based professional discussions that focus on the development of
common, standards aligned assessments and
unit lesson plans aligned to the common assessments.
The data collected from common assessments allows teachers and site leadership teams to identify areas where the best instructional practices are in place and areas where gaps exist that must be addressed. Once we assure all students receive daily instruction that includes the critical elements of effective instruction, the data can be used to identify students requiring additional help and those students who are ready for additional challenges.
At each school site, leadership will work with teachers and parents to analyze the school's data to determine which target growth areas were met, exceeded or not achieved. We can learn a great deal from our successes to help inform us around areas where we need to improve. This analysis process assists each site in updating their Single Plan for Student Achievement. As a parent, if you would like to participate in the analysis process at your child's school, please contact the principal today.
If you would like to view school test scores, please visit: http://star.cde.ca.gov