Friday, August 15, 2008

Encouraging STAR 2008 Results for Fresno Unified

Last year, Superintendent Hanson asked that schools place extra emphasis on math instruction. STAR results for 2008 show that this focus has paid off. FUSD outgained the state in all grades in mathematics except for grade 6. All grades 2-7 showed improvement. Twenty-five schools made gains of 8% or more. All subgroups showed growth. While White student achievement increased, the District at the same time closed the achievement gap between White students and Hispanic, African American and Asian students. In grade 8 Algebra I -- a critical determinant to success in High School -- the District moved from 43% proficient to 55% proficient, an impressive gain of 12 percentage points. It means 1,200 more students are proficient than was the case a year ago.

The results were also encouraging for English Language Arts (ELA). Six grades showed improvement, while one grade remained unchanged and three grades declined. Four schools showed gains of 8% or more. All sub-groups have shown improvement in the last three years, except special education which saw a slight decline in 2008. As with math, White students showed improved performance at the same time that the achievement gap with all other groups was narrowed.

Lincoln Elementary and Greenberg Elementary were the “star” performers, both showing schoolwide gains of 8% or more in both math and ELA.

While this is all very encouraging, a sobering note must be added. The state still outperforms FUSD at all grade levels in both math and ELA. There is much more work to be done, but the STAR 2008 results offer evidence that FUSD can and will soon take its place among the best in districts in the State

What is STAR?
The California Standardized Test and Reporting program (STAR) measures students' progress toward achieving California's state-adopted academic content standards, which describe what students should know and be able to do in each grade and subject. Students in grades two through eleven take multiple-choice tests in various subjects. Students in grades four and seven also complete a writing assessment as a part of the English–language arts test. F or more information on the STAR test, go to