Don’t blame students for low scores
When it comes to educating the Valley’s children, most school administrators take their jobs very seriously. After all, they are responsible for teaching the future generations everything from reading and math to science and history.
A child’s success in high school and college is oftentimes measured by their educational foundation in the early years.
The test scores which measure students’ performance in school, however, were not very good for Antelope Valley students.
According to a report published in the Thursday edition of the Antelope Valley Press, only 35.48% of the students in the AV meet or beat statewide English and math scores, according to the results of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress summative assessments, released Wednesday by the California Department of Education.
An estimated 44,414 Valley students in third through eighth and 11th grades took the computer-based English language arts/literacy and math assessments last spring.
The statewide average for stu
dents who met or exceeded the standard is 50.87%.
Of course, some districts did better than others. For example, 53.53% of the Acton-Agua Dulce Unified School District’s students met or exceeded the English language arts/literacy standard. However, the percentage was lower in math, with 36.42% meeting or exceeding the standard.
SOAR High School also did well, with 92% of last year’s juniors meeting or exceeding the standard for English language arts/literacy and 67% of juniors meeting or exceeding the standards for math.
iLEAD Lancaster Charter School, on the other hand, didn’t fare so well. Only 21.95% of third through eighth graders met or exceeded the standards in English language arts/literacy, while the percentage for math was even lower — 11.29%.
As expected, some schools did better than others, but what does it all mean? For starters, it means that students aren’t able to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to problems in a real-world setting. The assessment is used to measure the depth of understanding, writing, research and problem-solving skills.
There are many reasons children aren’t absorbing what’s taught in the classroom, but there are other factors beyond their control, that can contribute to this issue, for example, behavioral or learning problems, not enough individualized help in the classroom, etc.
School administrators in those districts that scored low should be concerned. The results indicate that their students aren’t sufficiently being prepared for the future.
The test scores are also a prime example of why School Board members should be more concerned with what’s going on in the classroom and how their decisions are affecting their students. Spending district money on cell phones, websites and other unnecessary goods and services should take a backseat to making sure children have the tools they need to succeed. That could mean books, teaching materials and even additional personnel.
But the job of educating students doesn’t fall solely on the school system. Parents also need to take an active role in making sure their children understand what they’re being taught in the classroom.
Sitting down with a child after school and going over homework or even asking what they learned in school that day can go a long way toward nurturing a good attitude and helping them comprehend something they maybe didn’t understand.
The teacher/student ratio is much higher than a parent/child ratio, so it makes sense that children would benefit from a parent helping them along their educational journey.