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Report: Test scores are on the rise

More students than ever before met proficiency marks, according to data released by the state.

August 21, 2009|By Zain Shauk

DOWNTOWN — Students in Glendale and Burbank made historic gains in standardized test scores for 2009, according to data released Tuesday by the California Department of Education.

More students met the state’s proficiency marks than ever before for almost every testing category, according to the reports.

Some grade levels made striking double-digit gains in some areas, particularly in the fourth grade.

About 75% of Burbank Unified School District fourth-graders scored at or above the state’s proficiency rating for English and language arts, up from 66% in 2008 and 60% the year before. Glendale Unified School District fourth graders also jumped to 75% proficiency in the same category, up from 65% in 2008 and 2007.

Overall proficiency rates are up in all categories, as they should be, educators said, but the rate of improvement exhibited by local students is reinforcement that administrators are getting it right, they said.

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“The improvement is just remarkable and really attributed to the hard work of the principals and the teachers,” Glendale Unified Supt. Michael Escalante said.

About 64% of Glendale Unified students scored proficient or better in English and language arts, up from 59.6% in 2008 and 58% the year before.

Proficiency in science also rose, to about 65% in Glendale schools, up from 62% last year and 53% in 2007.

Math scores, totaled for the second through seventh grades, were also at historic highs, with about 61% of students meeting the proficiency mark, up from 58% in 2008 and 57% the year before.

In Burbank Unified about 61% of students met English and language arts proficiency rates, up from 57% in 2008 and 55% the year prior.

About 66% of students hit proficiency marks for the California Standards Test science category — measured in the fifth, eighth and 10th grades — up from 61% a year ago and 54% in 2007.

And about 54% of students in the composite math category met proficiency rates, up from 49% in 2008 and 47% the year before.

History and upper-level math scores also showed improvement, according to the reports.

“We’re pleased, but we’re never satisfied,” said Burbank Unified Deputy Supt. Joel Shapiro, who explained that the recent surge in improved scores might be related to increased attention to test results.

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