Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

The results of the California 2011 Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program exams in English–language arts, mathematics, science, and history–social science, were released this week, by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

As usual, the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD) tried to spin the results, as you can see in this excerpt from their press release: “Students at all three levels increased their proficient and advanced scores from 2009 to 2011 in both English Language Arts and Mathematics. Districtwide proficiency scores in English Language Arts grew from 24.6% to 26.3% across the board at the elementary, intermediate and high school levels. Mathematics stats are equally as impressive, with an increase from 23% to 26.6% Districtwide for the same period. The number of students who scored advanced also increased a few percentage points Districtwide as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federally mandated targets continue to increase each year.”

So how did the SAUSD really do?  Click here to see for yourself.  As you can see in the table above, the SAUSD’s students did a bit better this year in every category, as compared to the 2010 results.  But take a look at the Orange County summary results, above.  The SAUSD results are still far below the O.C. average, in every single category, particularly in Science where just over a quarter of our tested students were proficient.

Now take a look at the results at one SAUSD School – Carr Intermediate.  Their principal from last year, Patrick D.Yrarrazaval-Correa, transferred to Valley High School this year.  He is supposed to be the SAUSD’s shining star, but look at Carr’s 2011 test results, they fell in history and in science.  In fact they fell drastically in science, from 51.5% to 29%.  This can’t bode well for Valley.

Speaking of Valley, here is a comparison of their 2010 versus 2011 CST results:

The Valley results went a little up, but compare them to the O.C. results.  Imagine what sort of future lies ahead for SAUSD students when less than 2 out of ten at Valley are proficient in science, by the end of the school year?

It is highly irresponsible for the SAUSD to try to make it look like things are great when in fact our students are failing to become proficient in any subjects. Go back to my first table, above.  SAUSD students are NOT proficient in ANY category, from English to Science, at least not above the 50% mark. That is the truth the SAUSD would rather we not realize.

Why are so many of our students failing?  Poverty is an issue but one also has to wonder if the SAUSD ever figured out how to teach kids that weren’t proficient in English, after the Unz initiative passed.  The results speak for themselves.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

12 thoughts on “The SAUSD 2011 STAR test results are still far below the O.C. averages”
  1. If you look more closely at Carr’s scores you can see clearly that they have been sacrificing science and social studies for math scores and it definitely shows. Massive improvements in math but the other two topics are dropping drastically.
    In defense of the district, NO ONE has ever really figured out what to do with low-income, low parent education and second language learners that makeup the majority of the students in SA. Expecting a school district to fix problems that are systemic in society is unrealistic. Fix the poverty, fix the schools. Teachers and other school personnel do not have control over the major causes of low achievement. It’s not an excuse and we will continue to work hard, but it is reality.

  2. One school that’s apparently excelling is El Sol. Change the District to El Sol Santa Ana Science to pull up their stats. There’s something to be said about this diamond in the rough.

  3. Paco:

    You seem to offer a quick fix solution that is downright ridiculous. Evidently you don’t have any experience working with the intricate issues that affect many of the families at SAUSD. Please keep those comments to yourself.

    Working at a charter school myself, I have seen first hand that many of the parents that seek an alternative educational opportunity for their children MAY be low-income and not have as much education as other parents, such as Irvine, but they RECOGNIZE the value of their child’s education and want their child to excel. Those parents that have their kids at El Sol didn’t endure standing in lines and going on wait list for their own personal health! Many are willing to put in their fair share of the work and then some to help their child.

    Additionally, El Sol is a dual immersion school. The dual immersion program is a “gate-like” program where both sides of the brain are being developed resulting in increased test scores because the kids are in fact smarter (read the research on dual programs). While many people like these programs, not everyone agrees with them so having a total district over-haul is a ridiculous proposal.

    The charter school model functions like a business. If you don’t produce results and satisfy your customers, then you close for business. Despite the fact that charter schools are funded 70 cents on the dollar vs. districts, a small bureaucracy is a money saver at charter schools, allowing them to use those funds directly for the benefit of the students and family support safety-nets (after-school programs and other outreach efforts). The district spends so much on salaries, union negotiations, and frivolous expenditures, etc that they don’t have the money to decrease class sizes and provide more meaningful educational opportunities. The problem is in their business model – or lack of thereof.

  4. Pedroza is missing a few columns on his OC/SAUSD comparison chart.
    1. Avg Income in OC/SAUSD
    2. # of enlish learners
    3. percent of students qualifying for a free lunch
    4. # parents with a college degree
    5. # of hack bloggers attacking the school district.

    What you gotta ask, Art is, “Where is a SAUSD like population doing better? And why isn’t SAUSD doing that?” But that would actually give you integrity.

    Yay! Sol Acadademy! Keep up the good work. That model doesn’t work for a whole state population.

  5. As an El Sol parent, I can tell you that the dual immersion program works and SA would do well to increase the dual immersion options within the district. This would especially help them with declining enrollment as there are plenty of students from well-heeled families who would jump at the chance to send their kids to SA for a quality dual immersion program. El Sol has students from Capo, Long Beach, Huntington Beach, Yorba Linda and many other cities. Aside from the dual immersion program, the preschool is giving their students a major jumpstart on their education. This model WOULD work in many SA schools, it has been working as a part of the program at Jefferson Elementary for years. Even though El Sol accepts some students from out of the district, the most amazing thing about the school is that the majority of the students are from low income, Hispanic families and their achievements rival that of many Irvine schools. Yes, the district should be finding a way to model what is done at El Sol and it isn’t impossible.

  6. Maybe it’s the fact that the majority of the students are Mexican, and have that ‘don’t care’ attitude.

  7. Develop both sides of the brain, increased test scores, smarter kids… Why don’t people like these programs Ms. G? Is it the Spanish?

  8. You would be surprised how many people are opposed to a dual immersion model. There is a definite misunderstanding about what dual immersion is and a resistance to providing anything in Spanish even though this model produces students that far exceed their English only counterparts (and they actually can do everything in two languages!).

  9. What I find really interesting is that I don’t really know anything about what you are talking about. I’m not exactly sure how I am f*cking under (as you so eloquently stated) anyone, let alone a few dozen families by attending a school that is in my city and following every procedure to get into the school. What are you talking about? As I understand it, the families who started OCEAA are perfectly happy with their choice to attend that school and the majority of the students at El Sol are low income Hispanic students and the school is serving the population it was intended for. I definitely won’t apologize for sending my kid to the best school in my area, we also got into one of the Fundamental schools but chose El Sol for the dual immersion program.

  10. Another question, who exactly squandered a great opportunity? The school is doing well with a usually difficult to serve population.

  11. For the record, I don’t know any of the people you mentioned. They are not a part of any current decisions being made at the site. I am more than curious regarding your perspective and I really don’t know anything about it. If the white and wealthy got out, are you saying that those that stayed somehow have been denied a good education? None of what you are saying makes sense to me and I apologize for all of the questions, but I’m trying to understand.

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