Christiane Gervais, assistant superintendent of instructional services for SPUSD, presents updates over the last five years of student achievement in the California Assessment of Students Performance and Progress (CAASPP) program. Photo by Skye Hannah

South Pasadena Unified School District students have made significant gains, with only a few decreases in growth percentages from 2014 to 2019, in the California Assessment of Students Performance and Progress (CAASPP) standardized testing system, the school board was told this week.

Christiane Gervais, assistant superintendent of instructional services, presented the results to the SPUSD Board of Education meeting Tuesday at the district office with Kim Sinclair, coordinator of curriculum and assessment.

The system assesses English language arts (ELA) literacy and mathematics, alternate assessments for ELA, mathematics and science, and provides science tests and Spanish assessment.

The “mean scale scores” of grades 3-11 were also tested. That’s the sum of scale scores for students with valid scores in an entity (such as district, school or student group) divided by the number of tests with valid scores. Percentages are based on meeting and exceeding standards for the categories.

In ELA, third graders had a 7 percent growth, fourth graders a 6 percent growth and fifth graders a 5 percent growth. Gervais noted that third-graders’ 2018-2019 mean scale score of 2510 was the fourth-highest score in the state for unified school districts.

For secondary grades in ELA, both sixth-graders and seventh-graders had a 6 percent growth, with eighth-graders improving 7 percent and 11th-graders improving 10 percent. Gervais said the 2651 mean score for eight graders is the second-highest in the state among unified school districts.

In elementary mathematics, third graders made an 8 percent improvement, fourth-graders had a 3 percent growth and fifth-graders saw a 3 percent decrease. Gervais tempered the decrease by sharing that both third grade and fifth grade had the fourth-highest mean scale scores, 2511 and 2597 respectively, in the state for unified school districts.

For secondary mathematics, sixth-graders had a 3 percent growth, seventh graders an 8 percent growth and 11-graders a 12 percent growth. Eighth graders did not experience a percentage growth but did improve the mean growth score by 12, resulting in a score of 2679, the third-highest in the state.

Skye Hannah, Senior Reporter

Skye Hannah is a senior reporter for the South Pasadena Review and the San Marino Tribune, covering education, government, sports, features and civic issues. Skye previously served as an award-winning senior staff photojournalist and staff writer for five years for the Rome News-Tribune in Rome, Georgia. You can contact Skye with news tips and feedback at / Twitter @SkyeHannahCA

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