BILINGUAL STUDENTS LAGGING SCORES DO SHOW GAINS.
LANCASTER - Bilingual students who took the state's standardized achievement test in English scored lower than students who are proficient in English, newly released results show.
Although the scores of English-language learners were lower than those of their English-proficient counterparts, they increased in almost all subjects and grade levels, according to figures released by the state Department of Education.
Third- and sixth-graders in the Lancaster School District, third-graders in the Westside Union School District, and third-graders in the Keppel Union School District showed the biggest improvements, posting double-digit gains in reading, math and language.
``Our program, like everybody's, is to try and teach as much English as possible to our students who come with a primary language other than English,'' said Regina Rossall, assistant superintendent for educational services in the Westside district.
``We are working with our teachers to make sure they understand how the English language is developed in students and provide assistance to the students so that they can still access the core curriculum being offered,'' Rossall said.
There were no scores reported for some school districts and some grade levels, such as the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District and the Hughes-Elizabeth Lakes Union School District, indicating there were too few bilingual students tested.
Twenty-five percent of California's students have limited English skills, compared with only 1.8 percent of students used for the national norming sample, state schools Superintendent Delaine Eastin said.
``Our schools serve a population that is extremely diverse,'' Eastin said in a statement. ``Children from over 80 different language groups and cultures enter California's schools each year, and these students possess a wide range of English proficiency.
``Not surprisingly, the (test) results show that it is difficult for students to do well in academic content areas until they are proficient in English.''
The 2000 Standardized Testing and Reporting exam was given in the spring to 4.3 million public school students in the second through 11th grades.
The test scores have taken on added importance because they are used to calculate the state rankings of schools, called the Academic Performance Index. Schools that improve their scores could be eligible for extra money; those that don't could face sanctions.
This is the third year California pupils took the Stanford Achievement Test, Ninth Edition, or Stanford 9, picked by the state Board of Education as California's standardized achievement test under 1997 legislation.
The test is a multiple-choice standardized exam. A 50 percentile-point score is the national average.
Stanford 9 results for ESL students
The state Department of Education released Stanford 9 Achievement Test scores for English language learners Monday. The following districtwide results are for students in third, sixth and ninth grades in reading, math and language. Scores are released as percentile rankings, a way of measuring performance against a national norm. A percentile rank of 50 is considered the national average. Check out cde.ca.gov for a complete listing of school scores since 1998.
District/Grade Reading Math Language
99 00 99 00 99 00
Antelope Valley Union High/9 8 9 20 26 15 19
Eastside Union/315 21 19 30 21 24
Eastside Union/6 18 17 19 21 21 25
Keppel Union/3 18 29 22 35 20 35
Keppel Union/6 15 20 25 26 22 26
Lancaster/3 18 34 26 44 22 38
Lancaster/6 21 38 24 41 23 36
Palmdale/3 23 26 34 39 29 30
Palmdale/6 24 28 31 36 31 34
Westside Union/3 14 33 21 38 19 41
Westside Union/6 NA NA NA NA NA NA
Wilsona/3 20 18 30 43 30 32
Wilsona/6 14 19 23 38 18 21
Mojave Unified/3 16 15 20 28 16 19
Mojave Unified/6 NA 14 NA 24 NA 27
Mojave Unified/9 8 NA 33 NA 26 NA
Southern Kern/3 18 19 27 31 25 36
Southern Kern/6 30 23 44 25 18 27
Southern Kern/9 NA NA NANA NA NA
Chart: Stanford 9 results for ESL students (see text)