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Students in 19 Districts Score Higher on CAP Test : Education: Glendora Unified eighth-graders show the most improvement. Scores in 10 districts decreased.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Eighth-graders in the Glendora Unified School District led the state’s large school districts in improvement on the California Assessment Program writing tests, scoring 37 points higher than their fellow students the year before.

In all, scores in 19 San Gabriel Valley districts were up--12 scored double-digit gains--generally reflecting an increase in writing scores statewide. Ten districts showed decreases in the tests, which were taken last spring.

The 27,000-student Pomona Unified School District saw its scores rise by 20 points. As a result, Pomona averages inched above those in Pasadena Unified, another large urban district with 21,700 students. Test results were almost unchanged in Pasadena, dropping four points.

El Monte City, which has a highly transient population of 11,010, saw its scores plummet by 20 points. Only Bassett Unified and Los Angeles Unified, the nation’s second-largest school district after New York City, scored lower.

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Among districts with 5,000 or more students, no other scores in the state rose by as much as Glendora’s. That district’s formula for success was amazingly straightforward, said Clint Taylor, assistant superintendent for educational services. Teachers in the 6,000-student district simply exposed students to the various types of writing on the tests.

“Our students needed to become more versatile,” Taylor said. “The most common assignment before was probably writing a story. And a student accomplished at writing a story may have a hard time writing a report of information or an essay.”

About 18 months ago, Taylor said, Glendora teachers began a training program, first for themselves and later for students, using CAP preparation materials available from the state.

“They took the manual from the CAP bureau, which described the different types of writing and obtained samples of the different types. They studied those samples carefully and practiced (helping) each other” compose essay topics.

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Writing skills eligible for testing include autobiography, biography, problem-solution, persuasion and story-telling. Students don’t know what type of writing a given test will require, so versatility pays.

“We may not see gains like this next year, but I think we’ll still see gains,” Taylor said. “We’ve acquainted students with all . . . types of writing and to move them to the sophisticated mastery of these types will take more time and work.”

Room for improvement remains. Glendora scored better than 77% of districts across the state, but better than only 40% of similar districts--those with well-educated, generally prosperous families.

Generally affluent San Marino students, who had high writing scores last time, improved by 18 points to 353. San Marino 9Unified, with 2,700 students, scored better than 98% of districts, and 87% of demographically similar districts.

Though pleased, Assistant Supt. Jack Rose said he was not too impressed because CAP scores vary greatly from year to year.

Unlike many districts, San Marino has no particular CAP-preparation program. “We have never taught to the CAP test,” he said.

San Marino uses CAP scores to analyze potential weaknesses in particular skill areas, such as phonics. But Rose said the overall scores can be misleading to parents and school board members, whether they choose to moan or boast about their own district’s scores.

“Because of the socioeconomic background of our parents, our students do well,” he said. “That’s the major factor.”

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Other districts serving generally prosperous areas also continued to do well. Arcadia Unified, with a score of 331, had the valley’s second highest average. Walnut Valley Unified came next with 302.

Social and economic hardships affecting students and their families are the main reasons for Pasadena’s static and still low scores, said William Bibbiani, the district’s director of research and testing. “There is no quick fix,” he said.

Nonetheless, he praised the idea behind CAP tests, particularly the just-released writing portion.

“Writing is essentially the skill that eventually puts it all together,” he said. “Clearly in urban and suburban districts, greater and greater emphasis needs to be put on writing, and it should begin at grades much earlier than it was traditionally introduced.”

A highly transient population is among the factors lowering test results in the El Monte City District by 20 points, said Supt. Jeff Seymour. Some district schools have turnover rates of more than 100% per school year, as families enter or leave the area in search of work, he said.

“CAP tests anyone who shows up at your door when the test is given,” he said. Nearly half the district’s students have a limited ability to speak English. Seymour said that students who remain in the district for several years perform above state averages on standardized tests.

Pomona’s 20-point improvement comes in the middle of a three-year plan to increase CAP scores. Like Glendora’s, the Pomona plan involves training teachers to prepare students, as much as possible, for what will appear on the CAP tests, said Assistant Supt. Cassandra George. Despite the gain, Pomona’s scores are still well below state averages.

“Our high expectations are going to lead to a better chance for these children to perform well in school and after they graduate,” she said. “We’re not going to accept less.”

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HOW TO READ THE SCORES

Here are California Assessment Program writing scores earned by eighth graders in San Gabriel Valley area public school districts last spring.

The previous year’s scores also are provided for comparison purposes, although CAP officials warn against reading too much into one-year variations.

The scaled score is a combination of results on each of the various types of writing tasks assigned. The average score in the state was 259, up four points over last year’s score; the average for students in Los Angeles County was 236,

representing a six-point rise.

Relative rank is a way to compare a district or a school with another that is similar in terms of student socioeconomic makeup and students’ ability to speak, read and write English fluently as well as how often those students move from school to school. The value listed is the school’s percentile rank within its comparison group.

State rank shows the school or district’s ranking (on a score of 1 to 99), comparing its scores to those of every other school or district in California.

Alhambra City Elementary DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 279 91 70 88-89 270 87 65

BALDWIN

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 277 88 65 88-89 266 79 61

BRIGHTWOOD

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 326 80 92 88-89 345 97 96

EMERY PARK

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 232 36 30 88-89 258 57 54

FREMONT

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 267 73 57 88-89 279 87 70

GARFIELD

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 263 82 53 88-89 231 64 29

GRANADA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 293 93 76 88-89 237 46 35

MARGUERITA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 297 95 78 88-89 295 94 82

MONTEREY HIGHLANDS

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 268 80 58 88-89 272 84 65

NORTHRUP

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 247 86 41 88-89 249 88 45

PARK

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 287 94 73 88-89 257 85 52

RAMONA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 249 88 42 88-89 276 93 68

REPETTO

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 338 99 95 88-89 318 98 91

YNEZ

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 291 99 75 88-89 227 67 27

Arcadia Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 331 86 95 88-89 318 74 92

DANA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 314 60 88 88-89 336 80 95

FIRST AVENUE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 315 92 88 88-89 304 81 86

FOOTHILLS

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 360 91 97 88-89 318 60 91

Azusa Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 219 36 19 88-89 193 13 2

CENTER

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 228 41 27 88-89 215 23 20

FOOTHILL

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 223 24 22 88-89 189 4 9

SLAUSON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 205 43 12 88-89 173 13 5

Baldwin Park Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 221 46 21 88-89 228 52 26

CHARLES D. JONES

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 212 36 15 88-89 215 36 20

HOLLAND

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 209 42 14 88-89 230 53 29

OLIVE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 231 62 29 88-89 228 54 27

SIERRA VISTA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 234 47 31 88-89 242 64 40

Bassett Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 210 34 16 88-89 213 47 19

EDGEWOOD

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 227 51 26 88-89 209 39 16

TORCH

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 196 19 10 88-89 216 54 20

Bonita Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 273 36 63 88-89 278 55 72

LONE HILL

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 251 11 44 88-89 254 14 49

RAMONA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 290 51 74 88-89 295 74 82

Charter Oak Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 269 26 59 88-89 243 9 40

ROYAL OAK

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 269 26 59 88-89 243 9 41

Claremont Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 296 36 80 88-89 283 21 76

EL ROBLE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 296 36 78 88-89 283 21 73

Covina-Valley Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 255 39 45 88-89 258 37 52

LAS PALMAS

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 226 19 25 88-89 233 19 32

SIERRA VISTA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 287 54 73 88-89 284 47 74

TRAWEEK

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 249 39 42 88-89 257 43 52

Duarte Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 243 65 38 88-89 228 32 26

NORTHVIEW

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 243 65 37 88-89 228 32 27

El Monte City DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 214 41 17 88-89 234 66 33

COLUMBIA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 203 41 12 88-89 225 64 26

DURFEE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 221 34 20 88-89 252 66 47

GIDLEY

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 203 20 12 88-89 219 39 21

POTRERO

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 195 28 9 88-89 207 45 16

RIO HONDO

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 252 60 45 88-89 292 94 80

WRIGHT

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 224 62 23 88-89 233 74 32

Garvey Elementary DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 241 82 36 88-89 254 90 50

GARVEY

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 247 86 41 88-89 262 93 57

FERN

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 230 70 29 88-89 237 79 35

Glendora Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 289 40 77 88-89 252 7 49

GODDARD

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 313 55 87 88-89 267 11 61

SANDBURG

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 266 24 56 88-89 239 4 37

Hacienda La Puente Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 261 55 52 88-89 249 40 45

CEDARLANE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 277 64 65 88-89 261 51 56

GRANDVIEW

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 252 64 45 88-89 226 28 26

MESA ROBLES

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 309 51 86 88-89 297 37 83

NEWTON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 301 77 81 88-89 286 49 75

ORANGE GROVE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 267 31 57 88-89 271 36 64

SIERRA VISTA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 226 34 25 88-89 243 60 41

SPARKS

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 229 51 28 88-89 209 24 16

Los Angeles Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 208 30 15 88-89 202 21 16

EL SERENO JR. HIGH

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 195 28 9 88-89 178 13 7

GRIFFITH JR. HIGH

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 207 45 13 88-89 202 30 14

Monrovia Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 276 83 66 88-89 279 89 73

CLIFTON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 262 68 52 88-89 276 86 68

SANTA FE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 296 94 78 88-89 282 92 72

Montebello Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 230 64 26 88-89 224 57 24

BELL GARDENS

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 225 64 24 88-89 207 45 16

EASTMONT

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 177 11 4 88-89 220 59 22

LA MERCED

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 229 54 28 88-89 235 53 33

MACY

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 268 66 58 88-89 272 79 65

MONTEBELLO

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 250 88 43 88-89 217 56 21

SUVA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 230 70 29 88-89 211 49 17

Mountain View Elementary DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 223 62 22 88-89 238 80 38

BAKER

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 232 72 30 88-89 268 95 62

KRANZ

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 219 58 19 88-89 228 68 27

Pasadena Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 220 15 19 88-89 224 17 24

ELIOT

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 207 8 13 88-89 240 30 38

MARSHALL FUND.

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 265 17 55 88-89 242 9 40

WASHINGTON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 204 20 12 88-89 216 19 20

WILSON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 217 15 18 88-89 211 9 17

Pomona Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 225 43 23 88-89 205 20 17

EMERSON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 223 30 22 88-89 214 12 19

FREMONT

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 183 21 6 88-89 156 6 2

LORBEER

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 303 56 83 88-89 269 15 63

MARSHALL

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 219 58 19 88-89 198 30 12

PALOMARES

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 222 51 21 88-89 177 5 6

SIMONS

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 201 38 11 88-89 207 45 16

Rosemead Elementary DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 229 45 25 88-89 232 57 31

MUSCATEL

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 229 45 28 88-89 232 57 31

Rowland Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 278 82 68 88-89 271 59 66

ALVARADO

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 302 90 82 88-89 286 57 75

GIANO

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 272 88 62 88-89 255 71 50

RINCON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 257 53 49 88-89 270 44 64

San Gabriel Elementary DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 247 56 40 88-89 240 30 38

JEFFERSON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 247 56 41 88-89 240 30 38

San Marino Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 353 87 98 88-89 335 74 95

HUNTINGTON

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 353 87 97 88-89 335 74 94

South Pasadena Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 287 28 76 88-89 279 19 73

SOUTH PASADENA

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 287 28 73 88-89 279 19 70

Temple City Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 279 31 70 88-89 263 23 58

OAK AVENUE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 279 31 67 88-89 263 23 59

Valle Lindo Elementary DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 226 54 23 88-89 210 20 18

SHIVELY

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 226 54 25 88-89 210 20 17

Walnut Valley Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 306 58 89 88-89 304 64 87

CHAPARRAL

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 338 78 95 88-89 317 59 90

SUZANNE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 271 23 61 88-89 286 69 75

West Covina Unified DISTRICT AVERAGE

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 257 51 47 88-89 236 28 34

EDGEWOOD

Scaled Relative State Year Score Rank Rank 89-90 257 51 49 88-89 236 28 34


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