How are Folsom Cordova schools performing compared to last year?
Students in Folsom Cordova schools continued to make progress and, districtwide, perform above state averages in English-language arts and math, according to new state test results released on Aug. 24. That included modest gains among the District’s most vulnerable student populations, including English learners and socioeconomically disadvantaged students, though achievement gaps continue to persist.
More than 10,500 students in grades 3-8 and 11 took the state’s Smarter Balanced assessments last spring, part of California’s comprehensive testing program. The scores are one tool designed to help teachers better understand how our students are performing under new state standards, measure student growth, and implement effective learning strategies tailored to individual children.
In English-language arts, 59 percent of students districtwide met or exceeded state standards, up four percentage points from last year, the first year of the state’s new testing program. Similar growth was seen in math performance, where 50 percent of Folsom Cordova students met or exceeded state standards, up four percentage points from 2015.
Statewide, 49 percent of students met or exceeded English language arts standards, while 37 percent of students met or exceeded standards in math.
Under the new state standards, Folsom Cordova has begun to see an incremental narrowing of achievement gaps, though much work remains.
Low-income students - comprising about one-third of all of this year’s test takers - improved in both English language arts (ELA) and math: 33 percent met or exceeded state ELA standards, up 5 percentage points from last year, while 23 percent scored at or above state math standards, a 4 percent increase.
About 9 percent of all of this year’s test takers were English learners, and those students also saw growth in performance: 10 percent of English learners met or exceeded ELA standards, up 3 percent from last year, while 13 percent of English learners met or exceeded math standards, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year.
How will results be used by colleges and universities?
For 11th-grade students, results are used for the Early Assessment Program (EAP), which is used by the California State University (CSU) system and some community colleges to determine whether a student is ready for college-level English and math courses. Student scores are also used to exempt students from some placement tests. More info: https://www.calstate.edu/eap/
At this time, no public higher education system in California uses the EAP results for admission.
How do these assessments tie in with state standards and the state’s school funding formula?
The assessments are part of a larger plan for ensuring high-quality teaching and learning in every school. The plan also includes higher academic standards, more decision-making in the hands of schools and communities, and more resources dedicated to schools and to students with the greatest needs.
What happened to the API? How do I know how well my school is doing compared to other schools?
The Academic Performance Index (API) for schools and districts has been suspended until the state adopts a new measurement and accountability system. The state is still working on a system that would be based on multiple measures, including academic progress, college and career readiness, school climate, and more. This new replacement system has not yet been finalized by the state.
Will test results be used for placement in Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs?
GATE placement is not based on these assessments. Folsom Cordova screens all third-grade students, and students new to the District in grades 4-6, at the elementary school level, with a test specifically for GATE in October and November.