VUSD test scores are highest in the County
District sees slight decline in both English and math scores, falls behind state average
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – Visalia Unified students performed better than all other unified school districts in Tulare County on California’s online testing last year but still fell short of keeping up with the average scores for the entire state.
The California State Department of Education released the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing information last week reflecting performance in English Language Arts and mathematics on the online test administered during the 2016-2017 school year. Visalia Unified student performance remained in the high 40’s for English Language Arts (ELA), and the low 30’s for mathematics, each area showing a slight decline. Similar to the rate of change in performance that took place at the county and state levels, Visalia Unified experienced comparable stable performances in both English Language Arts and Math between the current and previous reporting periods.
“As we continue to build our collective understanding of the interaction between the relatively newly implemented assessment system and the Common Core Standards, we are confident that our efforts will be reflected in future improvement rates,” VUSD said in a released statement last week.
After a 6% improvement from the 2014-2015 academic year to the 2015-2016 academic year, (when 48% of students met standard in English Language Arts), 47% of Visalia Unified students met proficiency during the 2016-2017 academic year. Similarly, following a 3% improvement in mathematics to 32% in 2015-2016, 31% of Visalia Unified students met proficiency in 2016-2017. Visalia Unified had the highest percentage of students test proficient in both ELA and math among unified school districts in Tulare County but fell short of the state average of 48% for ELA and 37% for math.
But there were a few Visalia Unified schools that outpaced the state average. Top among them was Oak Grove Elementary where nearly three-quarters of students were proficient in ELA and more than 60% in math. Two thirds of students at Hurley Elementary were proficient in ELA and nearly 60% in math. Shannon Ranch Elementary had 62% of students test proficient in ELA and 52% in math. At Linwo
od Elementary more than half of students tested proficient in both ELA (59%) and math (53%). Over half (56%) of the students at Manual Hernandez met or exceeded state standards in ELA and nearly half (48%) in math. Not far behind was Cottonwood Creek Elementary where 44% of students met state standards in ELA and 34% in math.
The elementary school that struggled the most were Washington, Houston and Goshen were less than a quarter of students were proficient in ELA and less than 15% of students in math. In all, 10 of Visalia Unified’s 25 elementary schools performed below the county average.
All of Visalia Unified’s five middle schools outpaced the county in ELA proficiency and four of the five in math. Students at VUSD’s newest middle school, Ridgeview, had the highest performance on the test with more than two-thirds being ELA proficient and nearly half (48%) being math proficient. La Joya students also outpaced the state average in both ELA (56%) and math (34%).
Visalia’s high schools excelled in ELA but have a lot of work to do in math. El Diamante had the highest scores with 78% of its students being proficient in ELA and 30% in math. Each of the four comprehensive high schools and the Visalia Technical Education Center (VTEC) were all above the state average in ELA and all below the state average in math.
“Our work will continue to focus on improving our practice of enhancing student learning that supports limitless opportunities for the future,” the district said in a released statement. “With the belief that a single annual report is insufficient in helping inform improvement of practice, we will continue to use local measures that more readily inform our progress along the way and to guide necessary adjustments in our efforts.”