MDUSD superintendent unveils test scores, but doesn’t mention district is in second year of federal Program Improvement
Since test scores are a hot topic in the Mt. Diablo school district, I am posting Superintendent Steven Lawrence’s message to the community about student achievement in district schools below, to allow blog readers to comment on it.
“Mt. Diablo USD News Update
Where Kids Come First
October 11, 2012
The California Department of Education has released the 2012 Accountability Progress Reports for California public schools. According to the reports, students in Mt. Diablo Unified School District continue to show improved academic achievement indicated by the Academic Performance Index (API) and the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
In the newly released Academic Performance Index (API) rankings, most Mt. Diablo schools are performing at increasingly higher levels. The goal of all California schools is to achieve an API score of 800. 34 of our 47 schools met school wide growth targets and 27 of them met all school wide and subgroup growth targets. 17 schools made double digit gains. Overall, the district API improved 7 points from 786 to 793.
All three elementary schools with the School Improvement Grant (SIG) made substantial growth: Bel Air improved 58 points, Rio Vista improved 26 points, and Shore Acres improved 61 points.
Besides the SIG schools, we are especially proud of the following schools which made over 20 points of growth from their 2011 base API. El Monte improved 24 points from 800 to 824. Fair Oaks improved 31 points from 722 to 753. Mt. Diablo Elementary improved 29 points from 902 to 931. Pleasant Hill Elementary improved 25 points from 869 to 894. Valle Verde improved 21 points from 926 to 941. College Park High improved 29 points from 786 to 815. Concord High improved 41 points from 709 to 750.
District wide, 8 elementary schools scored above 900; 10 elementary schools, 5 middle schools, and 2 high schools scored between 800 and 900. Below is a list of all schools/programs and the API growth from 2011-2012 (Due to technical constraints, I am not able to reprint the chart in this blog. Please see the chart at http://www.mdusd.org/NewsRoom/Pages/accountability-progress-report.aspx.)
The California Department of Education also released the 2012 Federal Accountability Measures, Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). AYP reports on percentage of students scoring proficient and above in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics on the California Standards Test (CST). For 2012, federal target in ELA is set at 78.0% and 78.2% in mathematics. District wide, 61.0% of our students met the ELA target and 61.1% met the mathematics target. These represent a gain in both ELA (58.7%) and mathematics (60.6%) from the previous year.
While not all of our schools met these federal targets, the following results show some continuing promising trends. At grades 2-5, 73% of our students scored proficient and above in Mathematics, surpassing state averages. Notably, 40% of 2nd graders, 49% of 3rd graders, 51% of 4th graders, and 44% of 5th graders scored advanced in mathematics.
As a district, we are committed to high expectations and outcomes for all of our students with the goal of ensuring every MDUSD graduate will be college or career ready. Administrators and teachers work collaboratively analyzing student achievement data in order to implement teaching and learning strategies that support all students in mastering critical skills and knowledge embedded in state standards. While an achievement gap still exists for some of our subgroups, our schools are committed to providing necessary support to ensure that every student achieves at the highest level. We are proud of our teachers’, support staff members’, and administrators’ commitment to improving student learning opportunities to ensure their future success. It is with the ongoing support of our School Board, parents and community that our schools and district continue to move in a positive direction.
For the complete California Accountability Progress Report, go to www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ar/”
[END OF SUPERINTENDENT'S MESSAGE]
It is interesting to note that Lawrence did not mention the fact that the district is in Year 2 of federal Program Improvement for failing to meet No Child Left Behind requirements. In addition, he did not mention that 10 district schools are in Program Improvement for failing to make Adequate Yearly Progress on tests, including nine that are in Year 5 and Sun Terrace Elementary in Concord, which was newly identified for Program Improvement this year.
Here is a list of schools in Program Improvement:
Bel Air Elementary in Bay Point
Cambridge Elementary in Concord
Fair Oaks Elementary in Pleasant Hill
Meadow Homes Elementary in Concord
Rio Vista Elementary in Bay Point
Shore Acres Elementary in Bay Point
Sun Terrace Elementary in Concord
Ygnacio Valley Elementary in Concord
Oak Grove Middle School in Concord
Riverview Middle School in Bay Point
As Lawrence noted, the three elementary campuses that received School Improvement Grants made great gains in their API scores: Bel Air, Rio Vista and Shore Acres.
Meadow Homes Elementary and Oak Grove Middle School have been awarded School Improvement Grants for the next three years. Both schools got new principals last year as a requirement for receiving the grant.
Under Principal Mary Louise Newling, Meadow Homes exceeded its API growth target of 5 points, jumping from 701 to 707. Under Principal Lisa Murphy Oates, Oak Grove posted the biggest drop in its API score of all the district’s regular (non-alternative) schools, falling 37 points from 639 to 602. It was the second-lowest-scoring middle school in the county, just behind Lovonya DeJean Middle School in the West Contra Costa district, which scored 599.
Although Lawrence didn’t mention the district’s PI status in his community news update, the district was required to send a letter explaining PI to every parent. The letter, dated Sept. 21, states, in part:
“…our district must continue to implement our addendum to our LEA (Local Educational Agency) Plan, use 10 percent of Title 1 funds to provide professional development for teachers and administrators, and continue to provide assistance to schools identified for PI.”
The letter also informs parents that they can “ask about school choice options to transfer your child, with paid transportation, to a public school in Mt. Diablo that is not identified as a Program Improvement school.”
In addition, parents of children in all the PI schools except Sun Terrace can request “supplemental educational services,” which are available to students in schools that have been in PI for two years or more.
Finally, the letter encourages parents to contact Rose Lock, assistant superintendent of Student Achievement and School Support, at 925-682-8000 ext. 4015 for more information or to become involved in the district’s PI efforts.
This letter, however, does not appear to be posted prominently on the district’s website. It also does not inform parents that the transfer application period has already begun. Parents must apply to transfer their children betweeen Oct. 1 and Jan. 15, according to the district’s website: http://www.mdusd.org/Departments/studentservices/Pages/OpenEnrollmentTransfers.aspx
Do you think the superintendent should have included information about Program Improvement in his message to the community?