STAR Test Results for Pacifica District K-8 Schools Revealed

The California Department of Education released statewide results Friday, and local K-8 schools scored mostly above the county average in major areas of study.

Results of STAR tests from schools across California were released Friday morning by the California Department of Education (CA DOE).

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson sent out a glowing statement, touting how statewide scores in math and English-language arts have risen for the ninth year in a row.

“In less than a decade, California has gone from having only one student in three score proficient, to better than one student in two,” Torlakson said. “That’s nearly 900,000 more students reaching proficiency now than in 2003 - a remarkable achievement that represents real, sustained improvements in learning.”

Torlakson said the achievement is even more noteworthy considering how badly California schools are struggling financially these days.

“Even more remarkable is the fact that our students continue to make gains even as our schools and the teachers, administrators and school employees working in them are getting by with so much less,” Torlakson said. “As pleased as I am by the great progress many students are making, the deep school budget cuts of recent years make it ever less likely these gains will continue.”

“Preventing further cuts and beginning to restore what’s been lost are essential to helping every student learn and prepare for the future.”

Results for 2012 rose 3 percentage points over last year in English-language arts, and 1 percentage point in mathematics. Since 2003, the scores have risen 22 points in English-language arts - or from 35 to 57 percent scoring “proficient” or “advanced" - and 16 percentage points in math, or from 35 to 51 percent.

However, Torlakson said, while the STAR results show an increase in proficiency levels among all subgroups, a “persistent achievement gap” exists for African American, Latino, English-learner, and low-income students, compared to their peers.

“Like every teacher, parent, and principal, despite the decade of progress we’ve seen, I won’t be completely satisfied until every child has the opportunity to achieve his or her full potential,” Torlakson said.

Patch was sent information about the results, so we’re bringing it to you. Below are countywide results, as well as local results for the Pacifica School District (PSD) (grades K-8).

But first, a little background.

“STAR” stands for Standardized Testing and Reporting.

The STAR tests consists of the following four components:

  • “CST,” or California Standards Test
  • “CMA,” or California Modified Assessment
  • “CAPA,” or California Alternate Performance Assessment
  • “STS,” or Standards-based Tests in Spanish

According to the CA DOE, the CSTs for English–language arts (ELA), mathematics, science, and history–social science are administered only to students in California public schools. Except for a writing component that is administered as part of the fourth-grade and seventh-grade ELA tests, all questions are multiple-choice.

The CA DOE’s website explains, “These tests were developed specifically to assess students' knowledge of the California content standards. The State Board of Education adopted these standards, which specify what all children in California are expected to know and be able to do in each grade or course. “

CST scores are used for calculating each school's Academic Performance Index (API) and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) scores.

Information about the API and AYP is posted on the CA DOE’s Accountability Progress Reporting website at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/ac/ar/index.asp.



The Pacifica School District performed above the county average in all four major areas of study – English-language arts, mathematics, History (Grades 8 and 11, and end-of-course) and Science CST — scoring on average 8.5% percent above the county average.


English-Language Arts (Grades 2-11):

PSD students with scores: 2,388

PSD percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 70.9%

San Mateo County students with scores: 66,786

San Mateo County percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 66%


History (Grades 8 and 11, and end-of-course):

PSD students with scores: 354

PSD percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 66.9%

San Mateo County students with scores: 19,823

San Mateo County percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 57.9%


Mathematics (Grades 2-7, and end-of-course):

PSD students with scores: 2,383

PSD percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 68.5%

San Mateo County students with scores: 66,552

San Mateo County percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 59.5%


Science CST (Grades 5, 8, and 10):

PSD students with scores: 654

PSD percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 76.9%

San Mateo County students with scores: 19,413

San Mateo County percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 66.1%


Science End-of-Course:

PSD students with scores: 522

PSD percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 64.8%

San Mateo County students with scores: 17,871

San Mateo County percent scoring ‘proficient’ or ‘advanced’: 52.6%


PATCH WANTS TO KNOW – What do you think of how the Pacifica School District scored? Tell us in the comments below.

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Mary Ann Nihart September 01, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Way to go! Thank you teachers, students, school board members, parents, and volunteers. We are one of the most poorly funded districts in the County, but each of you make this District exceptional! Congratulations, PSD!


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