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STAR Test Results: Capo Students Outpace Others in O.C., State

More students in the Capistrano Unified School District scored "advanced" or "proficient" in math, science, English and history than last year.

Nearly three-quarters of all second-through-11th-grade students in are either advanced or proficient in English, according to the latest round of test scores the California Department of Education released Monday.

Capistrano Unified students from across the grade levels improved in almost all academic subject areas, the 2011 Standardized Testing and Reporting Program results show.

The results show "that that CUSD students are being properly prepared for the challenges of college and business in the real world beyond," said district Trustee .

When adding all of the students in all subject areas the California Standards Test examined in 2011, Capo students saw several-point improvements.  For example, the 74.7 percent of students in second through 11th grades who scored either “advanced” or “proficient” in English improved 2.9 point compared to the 2010 scores.

Capo students far outpaced Orange County students as a whole, 62 percent of whom the tests found advanced or proficient in English. The statewide figure is 54.4 percent.

Bryson credited the leadership of Superintendent Joseph Farley and Julie Hatchel, assistant superintendent of education services. 

"This is the sure path to greater excellence in CUSD, to press on to the building of stronger solid core values with every technique and methodology available to us," she said.

In English, there was only one grade whose scores went down in Capo Unified. Sixth-graders in 2011 scored one point less than their counterparts in 2010. They also scored two points less in math.

Some Dips in Math Scores

As a whole, math scores went up for students between second and seventh grades. Seventy-three percent of Capo’s students scored either advanced or proficient, 4.9 points higher than last year.  Countywide, 60.1 percent of students are proficient or advanced in math. That figure is 50.3 percent for students across the state.

There were some isolated dips in math scores in the upper grades. Ninth- and 10th-graders’ scores went down for Algebra I classes, dropping from 60 to 57 percent for ninth-graders and from 24 to 21 percent for 10th graders.

Algebra II students in 11th grade also saw their numbers go down, from 21 percent to 19 percent. The only other group of students to see their scores decrease over the 2010 results was ninth-graders in earth science. In 2011, 41 percent were either advanced or proficient, compared to 44 percent in 2010.

Overall in science, the number of Capistrano Unified students in fifth, eighth and 10th grades testing proficient or advanced jumped five points, from 74 percent in 2010 to 79 percent in 2011. Countywide, that figure is 67.7 percent and 57 percent statewide.

Individual grades that saw at least a five-point increase over last year’s scores include:

  • Fourth-graders in math
  • Fifth-graders in math
  • Ninth-graders in Algebra II
  • Eighth-graders in history/social science
  • Ninth-graders in world history
  • Fifth-graders in life science
  • 10th graders in life science
  • 11th graders in biology
  • 10th graders in earth science
  • 11th graders in physics

Coming up tomorrow, we'll take a look at how English-learners scored on the Standardized Testing and Reporting Program.

Reality Check August 19, 2011 at 06:58 AM
It's safe to say she doesn't want to collaborate with us. Clearly, she's not up to defending her thoughts. And on a three-day old article, we're collaborating more with Penny at this point. I am pleased to see the district staying focused on learning, and I am hopeful for the future based on collaboration I see on my campus. Thanks for weighing in.
Pam Sunderman August 19, 2011 at 02:38 PM
I'm closing off my comments on this article with a link to an unrelated subject (in the spirit of "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"). Hey...it IS about education, it DOES bash the teacher, and it DEALS WELL with parent concerns. So it should be acceptable to all. And it is my gift to all in the spirit of "lighten up...things are going well in CUSD!" http://www.ocregister.com/articles/preschool-312629-sad-advice.html
OC Mom August 19, 2011 at 06:33 PM
I believe he also is the author of various books like: What your 5th Grader needs to know. I've bought or borrowed several of the books and find them highly educational and a great supplement to my kids' education.
Shripathi Kamath August 19, 2011 at 07:19 PM
He (Hirsch Jr.) also had an accompanying lexicon for his book on cultural literacy, and I believe that he updated it recently. I recommend it to anyone who wishes to get the Cliff Notes version of the 5,000 odd phrases/concepts/topics that he culled for his book. http://tinyurl.com/3mhymp3 Of course with Google, we can get multiple entries for each of the topics as well. The book was very useful for me several years ago as I worked to assimilate myself into American culture. And it is equally useful today to keep learning and brush up on history, and one is never too old to learn. Hmm, perhaps I can do a blog post on cultural literacy if there was sufficient interest so that those of us so interested can discuss it.
CE August 20, 2011 at 04:24 PM
Yes, but these are past test questions. You seem to be implying that the teachers have access to the test questions in advance. They don't.

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