SAN DIEGO–The California Department of Education released the results of the Smarter Balanced tests taken by area students this past spring. Among large, urban districts in the state, San Diego Unified students ranked first in English language arts – an improvement from second last year. San Diego schools ranked second in mathematics behind San Francisco. The state’s Smarter Balanced test is given annually to students in grades 3 to 8 and 11.
“As parents and educators, we know our students achieve more when we ask more from them. We saw that with our strong graduation results and we have seen it again today with these impressive test results,” said Superintendent Cindy Marten. “San Diego can feel very proud of our students, parents and teachers based on the hard work reflected in these new test results.”
San Diego Unified students ranked first in the state among large, urban districts in English language arts with 57 percent of all area students either meeting or exceeding grade level expectation — up 6 points over last year. The largest gains were among third, fourth and seventh graders, as test scores rose 8 percentage points among each. There were also strong gains at the subpopulation level among Latinos (up 9 points), Filipinos (up 8 points) and African Americans (up 7 points).
San Diego Unified students also made gains in mathematics, increasing 4 points over last year and ranking second among large, urban districts across the state. The testing found 45 percent of students performing at or above grade level expectations. The largest increases were among third graders, who raised their test scores 9 points over last year. As with English, there were also gains at the subpopulation level, where Latinos showed the largest increase – 5 points over last year.
This is the second year of the Smarter Balanced tests. These assessments are aligned with the new state standards, which were designed to encourage critical thinking, analytical writing, and real-world problem solving. These are skills students need to be successful in school and in life.
They replaced the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program and encompass the assessments and alternative assessments for English language arts and literacy, mathematics, and science.