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  • Tuesday, August 16, 2011

     

    2011 STAR test results: Culture continues to play role

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    2011 STAR test scores results:Culture continues to be ignored by state educational bureaucrats

    California has released the 2011 STAR (Standardized Testing and Reporting) results for the 2010-2011 school year. In a news release like his processors, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson began by heaping praise on the system and students scores:

    “California's students continue to steadily improve their performance across the board, with a larger proportion than ever scoring proficient or higher on the 2011 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program exams in English–language arts, mathematics, science, and history–social science”

    Five paragraphs into his press release however, the real news of the continued “achievement gap” was given in this short terse paragraph:

    “While the STAR results show an increase in proficiency levels among all subgroups, a troubling and persistent achievement gap exists for African American, Latino, English-learner, and low-income students, compared to their peers.”

    The “achievement gap” is the real racial and socio-economic difference in scores on the STAR test that have persisted since its inception. However, while the state acknowledges the differences in “a troubling and persistent achievement gap exists for African American, Latino, English-learner, and low-income students, compared to their peers”, it continues to ignore the real issue of “culture” by failing to address those who make-up the over-achieving “peers” of the under-acheiving minorities. The acheivers are by-in-large middle-to affluent white students AND all economic levels of Asian students. The fact that all economic brackets of Asian students out perform their white counterparts and all other minorities across the state continues to provide clear and present evidence to the de facto role of culture in education. However, because "culture" cannot be addressed by the educational system, educational bureaucrats continue to ignore the elephant-in-the-room of long standing and overwhelming evidence that culture plays a significant role in test scores and those bureaucrats continue to chase after a solution that cannot be addressed by the current testing system that reports scores by race, but ignores the cultural differences of those races.

    This fact can be seen in Orange Unified that is divided by the clearly defined and now openly acknowledged OUSD 55 Divide of economics and culture. In OUSD’s 2011 Hispanic/Latino Economically Disadvantage CST General Math scores for 8th Grade, 4% of those 678 students scored advanced and 28% scored Proficient. Looking at the 2011 CST General Math scores for OUSD’s 19 8th Grade Asian students who are also Economically Disadvantage; 32% scored Advanced and 32% scored Proficient. Clearly the differences are stark and real. The stark differences can be seen across the board (see LINKS below), not only in OUSD, but state-wide. In addition, the shear numbers of the different cultures continue to take a toll on the education system. The facts are crystal clear, a school with a high percentage of Asians will outperform a school with a high percentage of other minorities.

    This is not an “achievement gap” it is a “cultural gap”. To deny this is to deny reality. However, that denial is deeply seated in today’s educational bureaucracy and continues to eat away at public confidence in our schools. To ignore the cultural differences and to demand that “better” strategies are needed (paid for by taxpayers) is the modern equivalent of the continued saga of The Emperors New Clothes, or perhaps the Superintendent of Public Instruction’s New Clothes.

    LINK for OUSD District-wide Scores 2011 OUSD

    LINK for OUSD Individual School Scores
    OUSD Individual schools (select school on drop menu)

    LINK for OUSD Asian Economically Disadvantage Scores
    2011 OUSD Asian Economically Disadvantage Scores

    LINK for OUSD Hispanic/Latino Economically Disadvantage Scores
    2011 OUSD Hispanic/Latino Economically Disadvantage Scores

    ORANGE Unified Schools INSIDE
    Independent insight into OUSD
    is an independent news service of /O/N/N/
    “Independent Local Insight”




    Comments:
    The facts are crystal clear, a school with a high percentage of Asians will outperform a school with a high percentage of other minorities.
     
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