ALAMEDA -- Results from the latest round of Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR, released by state education officials show that Alameda students generally made gains over previous years, including in math and English language arts among Latinos and African-Americans.
All grades increased the percentage of students scoring proficient and advanced in English except for fifth grade, including a jump of 10 percent among third- and sixth-graders, according to Alameda officials.
In math, third-, sixth- and seventh-graders scoring proficient increased between 6 and 19 percent, while the results for eighth-graders testing in Algebra 1 showed the number reaching proficient or advanced jumped 9 percent.
Geometry scores overall for the district improved 5 percent.
"This latest round of reports from the state confirms that most of our students at most of our schools are continuing to achieve and improve year after year," Superintendent Kirsten Vital said. "The fact that we have sustained this positive growth over several years in the midst of extremely difficult budget times is a great accomplishment."
District scores dropped in science by 1 percent and in history by 1.4 percent, though district officials noted that they still achieved a two-year gain in both subjects compared with 2010.
The STAR scores, which were released Aug. 31, also show improvement districtwide for African American and Latino students in both English and math.
African-American students increased their scores in English by more than 4 percent and more than 5 percent in math. Latino students also increased their scores by more than 4 percent in English and more than 6 percent in math.
Among students with disabilities, the increase was 3 percent in English and more than 4 percent in math, the results showed.
The STAR scores come in the wake of state officials releasing the results from the most recent high school exit exam, which showed 88 percent of Alameda 10th-graders passed the English test and 89 percent passed the math test compared to last year.
Tenth grade is the first opportunity that students have to take the exam, which they must pass by their senior year to graduate.
"In less than a decade, California has gone from having only one student in three score proficient to better than one student in two," state schools Superintendent Tom Torlakson said in a press statement about the STAR results. "As pleased as I am by the great progress many students are making, the deep school budget cuts of recent years make it ever less likely these gains will continue. Preventing further cuts and beginning to restore what's been lost are essential to helping every student learn and prepare for the future."
For more information on the STAR results, go to the state Department of Education website http://star.cde.ca.gov/star2012/.