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UPDATE: Hart district continues to outpace state, county in STAR test scores

Posted: August 8, 2013 11:15 a.m.
Updated: August 8, 2013 7:13 p.m.

Students in the Hart district continued to outperform their peers in Los Angeles County and statewide in standardized tests measuring proficiency in math, science, history and language arts, according to state Department of Education figures released Thursday.

“We take it very seriously,” said David LeBarron, director of curriculum and assessment for the William S. Hart Union High School District. “Our students’ performance on the state assessments is a measure we use to evaluate our instructional programs.”

The scores were determined by the performance of students on last spring’s Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR, assessments, which are taken by all California students in grades 2 through 11.

Those tests measure student performance on state standards in history, language arts, math and science that the California Department of Education expects students to grasp at each grade level.

The STAR results will be used to calculate the Hart district’s Academic Performance Index — a figure that is used to measure academic performance in K-12 schools statewide and identify which schools need improvement in certain areas.

STAR scores are divided into five levels — far below basic, below basic, basic, proficient and advanced — with the goal to increase the percentage of students who score proficient or above.

In the English-language arts area, Hart district high schools either maintained or increased the percentage of students scoring above proficient over last year’s results, according to state figures.

The number of students in seventh and eighth grade scoring proficient or above decreased slightly from last year in the English-language arts area, according to state figures.

Students in the Hart district largely outpaced their peers in Los Angeles County and statewide on all areas of the STAR assessments, including in science, where students performed better on tests taken in biology, chemistry, Earth science and physics, according to LeBarron.

The Hart district also had small increases to the percentage of students testing as proficient or above in the history assessment areas, including United States history and eighth-grade social science.

“Hart district students do very well on the STAR tests because we place a strong focus on ensuring that our students are taught the state’s academic content standards, which is what the tests assess,” LeBarron said.

And well educated students have a positive impact on the community at large, according to Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.

“This coupled with a strong local government, great teachers and administrators, and local business advocacy for education helps create an effective and nurturing learning environment,” Striplin said Thursday. “As a result, student test scores are among the best in the state.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney


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