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TUSD sees improvement in exit exam pass rates

POSTED August 9, 2011 9:10 p.m.

The Turlock Unified School District has reached a significant turning point as the latest rounds of California High School Exit Exam results were released.

Scores at both of TUSD’s comprehensive high schools showed a significant increase in the percentage of students who passed the CAHSEE as sophomores in the mathematics and English/ language arts sections of the exam.

In the last three years the percentage of students at both schools who tested as proficient or advanced has increased from just under 44 percent in the 2007-08 school year to 82 percent in 2010-11. In English/ language arts, the percentage has jumped up from 48.4 percent in 2007-08 to 84 percent in 2010-11.

District Superintendent Sonny Da Marto said the improvements are a result of hard work and team work.

“Our teachers have been working really hard over the past three years, we’ve been holding everyone to high expectations with our professional instruction strategies,” he said.

Students from TUSD out-scored the Stanislaus County average pass rate, as well as the state average by five or more percentage points.

“We’ve been working really hard in the last four years on our academics — especially concentrating on the sub categories to help our students pass the CAHSEE. We are real proud of the numbers, but we still have work to do,” said Da Marto.

One of the most impressive achievements is the number or Redesignated Fluent-English Proficient students. These are students who had been put into the English Learners category but after more individual and concentrated instruction they were placed back into the English speaking population. In this subgroup alone 97 percent of students passed the ELA section of the exam and 93 percent passed mathematics.

Current English Learners pass percentage also increased — dramatically. Last year Pitman High had only 29 percent of English Learners pass the ELA, this year 50 percent passed. At Turlock High 17.3 percent passed last year and 58 percent passed in 2010-11.

Additionally, sub category students such as “socioeconomically disadvantaged” were only five to six percent behind all students. This also beat county and state averages.

“If you look at that they are only running about five percent behind, that’s pretty good but we need to continue to work to close that gap,” said Da Marto.

Da Marto said TUSD teachers, principals and administration will continue to find ways to provide individual goals and plans for each student with an effort to provide increased instruction in the area where a student is not doing as well.

“We’ve been doing that and we will continue to do that and I see a continued improvement for next year,” he said.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail jmccorkell@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

 

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