Local test scores miss benchmark
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 18:05
When an individual is involved in an educational hierarchy, one is held to certain expectations at each level.
But many students make the move into higher education without adequate preparation.
“Eighty-eight percent of incoming students tested into basic skills math, which is Math 118 and below, while 57 percent tested into basic skills reading, and 77 percent tested into basic skills writing, which is English 142A and lower,” Matriculation Services Coordinator Kenyetta Tribble said.
Each K-12 school in California is required to administer tests that measure the academic performance and growth of its students.
The test results add up to the school’s academic performance index (API) score.
The tests that make up this API score are the Standardized Testing and Reporting Test, the California Standards Test, the California Modified Assessment Test and the California High School Exit Examination Test.
The API score is ranked on a scale from 200-1000 with a statewide target score of 800.
Though each of the seven high schools in the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Contra Costa College’s feeder schools, improved their API scores in 2011 from 2010’s scores, only Middle College High School, located here on the Contra Costa College campus, reached the state’s target.
Some CCC professors say the lack of communication between the educational systems in West County is a problem that may be contributing to the low test scores.
“The community colleges need to try to have better relationships with feeder schools (and) need better communication,” mathematics professor Edward Cruz said.
Other professors believe the issue goes beyond the school grounds.
Academic skills department Chairperson Elvia Ornelas-Garcia said, “The reality is some students have very complex lives.
“A lot of students come from low-income families or live in unsafe communities where violence is prevalent, which makes it hard to be a successful student.”
Richmond High School Assistant Principal Kibby Kleiman said, “We definitely need to raise the rigor of what happens in our classrooms.
“Students have to work harder, faster, deeper if they wish to succeed, teachers have to demand this, and administration has to demand it from the teachers.”