By Howard Blume and Sandra Poindexter, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers August 15, 2008
Scores on state standardized tests took a step upward in annual results released Thursday, but that rise won't prevent more schools from failing federal targets that have become more difficult this year. In Los Angeles, schools improved at a faster rate than in the state overall -- a familiar and hopeful pattern. But they also continued to lag behind the state average. And here, too, increasing federal standards will inevitably lead to more schools being categorized as unsuccessful.
Statewide, about 24.5% of elementary schools would have reached last year's federal standards but will probably fall short this year. That works out to almost 1,400 schools. More than 37% of middle schools -- or about 480 campuses-- face the same fate, according to a Times analysis. (A similar calculation could not be made for high schools, which have a different proficiency scale, because the state has not released the necessary data.) The reason for the seeming decline is a rising bar for success. This year, to meet federal targets, the required percentage of students who must be proficient rose from 24.4% to 35.2% in English and from 26.5% to 37% in math. That means a school that met last year's standard would have one year to increase nearly by half the number of students proficient in English to stay on the plus side of accelerating federal expectations."We have to look at proficiency for all," said Ramon C. Cortines, senior deputy superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, who defended the rising expectations but criticized the scale's steepness and inflexibility.
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Here's our scores (click the link for the complete list of scores):
California Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR)
Beckford Avenue Elementary School
Total Enrollment on First Day of Testing: 393
County Name: Los Angeles County
Total Number Tested: 392 District Name: Los Angeles Unified District
Total Number Tested in Selected Subgroup: 392
School Name: Beckford Avenue Elementary School