Student test scores continue to increase in all elementary grade levels in English language arts, mathematics and science, making this the sixth consecutive year of academic growth in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), according to 2006 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) results released Tuesday, August 15th, by the California Department of Education.

On the California Standards Tests (CSTs), the district’s elementary schools scoring proficient or advanced, the two highest levels possible, increased in the grades tested (two through five).

In elementary school English language arts, in second grade the number of students scoring proficient or advanced increased from 33 percent to 39 percent.

In third grade, the number of students with proficient or advanced scores climbed from 22 to 27 percent; in grade four, from 34 to 38 percent; and in grade five, from 30 to 31 percent.

More than half of the district’s second- and third-grade students are scoring proficient and advanced in mathematics.

In grade two mathematics, those scoring proficient and advanced increased from 48 to 53 percent; in grade three, from 50 to 51 percent; in grade four, from 43 to 47 percent; and in grade five, from 38 to 40 percent.

The number of students in fifth grade science with proficient and advanced scores rose from 19 to 23 percent.

Students are ranked according to five performance levels: advanced, proficient, basic, below basic and far below basic. The state’s goal is to have all students performing at proficient or advanced levels.

“These scores show that the District continues to improve as a whole, and we are committed to continuing our efforts to make further gains and improvements in student achievement,” said school superintendent Roy Romer. “Six years of continuous improvement verifies that we are on the right track and doing something that is seldom seen in urban school systems.

“While this is very good progress, we are still not where we want to be with our secondary schools. We still have a lot of work to do to improve student performance at our middle and senior high schools.”

Secondary schools showed modest improvements in sixth- and seventh-grade mathematics.

District officials said they are putting significant reforms into place at middle and high schools.

“We will be instituting an aggressive algebra curriculum project this upcoming year; we have an algebra preparedness program in place,” said Romer.

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