October 16, 2012 > New Haven shows progress at closing achievement gap
New Haven shows progress at closing achievement gap
Submitted By Rick La Plante
Efforts to close the "achievement gap" are succeeding in the New Haven Unified School District according to results released by the California Department of Education from the 2011-12 CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) and STAR (Standardized Testing and Results) tests.
The achievement gap, for several years one of the most vexing problems in public education, is the difference in test results between high-performing students (typically Asian and white sub-groups) and lower-performing students (typically Hispanic/Latino and African-American sub-groups). The gap generally is evident in scores from the CAHSEE tests, which students begin taking as high school sophomores and must pass to earn a diploma, and in the STAR results, which measure academic progress from Grades 2 through 11.
In New Haven, 89 percent of African-American students passed the English/Language Arts portion of the 2011-12 CAHSEE test on their first attempt, according to results released by the state Department of Education last week. That's up from 74 percent in 2010-11 and, more significant, identical to the District-wide percentage of students who passed on their first attempt. In addition, 84 percent of African-American students passed the mathematics portion on their first attempt, up from 66 percent last year and just four percentage points shy of the District-wide passing rate.
Among Hispanic/Latino students, meanwhile, 82 percent passed the English/Language Arts portion on their first attempt, up from 78 percent last year and within six points of the District-wide passing rate. The percentage of Hispanic/Latino students passing the math portion slipped, however, from 81 to 77 percent.
The gap also is closing - not as dramatically - on the California Standards Test, the predominant part of the STAR program.
"Our English/Language Arts scores have increased year after year, maybe not by leaps and bounds, but steadily and consistently, which confirms that we're doing the right work," Superintendent Kari McVeigh said.
Other District highlights from the release of STAR scores:
At Emanuele Elementary, the percentage of fifth-graders scoring at or above standards in math jumped from 49 percent in 2008-0, to 65 percent in 2009-10, to 84 percent in 2010-11.
At Alvarado Elementary, the percentage of second-grade students scoring at or above standards in English/Language Arts also increased significantly for the second consecutive year, from 49 percent in 2008-09, to 57 percent in 2009-10, to 65 percent in 2010-11.
At Kitayama, Pioneer and Eastin elementaries, there were examples of steady progress in English/Language Arts.
At Searles Elementary, the percentage of second-graders scoring at or above standards in math jumped 13 points and at Hillview Crest Elementary, the percentage of fifth-graders scoring at or above standards in English/Language arts jumped 22 points. At Alvarado Middle School, the percentage of sixth-graders scoring at or above standards in English/Language Arts jumped 12 points. At Cesar Chavez Middle School, the percentage of seventh-graders scoring at or above standards in English/Language Arts increased from 48 to 51 percent.
At James Logan High, 90 percent of physics students scored at or above grade level, up from 75 percent last year.