MVLA students show improvement in statewide test scores

Students in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District showed marked improvement on the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test, conducted by the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress system.

At Los Altos High, the percentage of all tested students who met or exceeded English standards totaled 81 percent, up from 70 percent last year. Math scores also showed improvement, rising from 67 percent to 69 percent.

Mountain View High English scores jumped from 72 percent to 85 percent for all students; math scores increased from 64 percent to 69 percent.

Latino students at both schools showed significant improvement. At Mountain View High, 58 percent of Latino students met or exceeded standards in English; math scores rose from 23 percent to 37 percent. At Los Altos High, 56 percent of Latino students met or exceeded standards in English, up from 43 percent. There was a slight increase in math scores for Latino students, from 34 percent to 38 percent.

This year’s results reveal no difference in performance by gender; districtwide, girls and boys performed equally well.

“We are pleased with our results,” said Brigitte Sarraf, MVLA director of assessment and evaluation. “Not only do this year’s scores far exceed state and county averages, but we have come very close this year to mirroring or exceeding our high performance on the SBAC in 2015.”

Sarraf added that the district believes the results are a “relatively accurate reflection” of what students know and are able to do, as the results are comparable to results on other standardized tests.

“We encourage students to do their best on the SBAC test because the results can have tangible benefits for them,” she said. “Qualifying scores exempt students from some placement exams and eliminate the need to take remedial courses at many colleges and universities. This includes California State colleges, community colleges and many Washington and Oregon universities.”

Sarraf noted that higher scores also boost MVLA schools’ stature.

“When evaluating applications, universities often review schools’ standardized test scores, including SBAC,” she said. “Students’ applications to college are typically evaluated in the local context. One way to look at this is that graduating from a high school with high test scores may boost students’ chances for admission to more universities.”

According to MVLA Superintendent Jeff Harding, the results reflect the instruction students receive and affirm that all student groups are benefiting from the continual improvement of curriculum.

“We can change the course of students’ lives by relentlessly pursuing improvements in instruction,” Harding said. “These latest SBAC scores are further evidence of exceptional instruction at all levels.”

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