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Students Show Growth in Statewide Assessment 
Posted 10/11/19

Newport-Mesa Unified School District Logo

Since the inception of the California Smarter Balanced Assessments five years ago, students in Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) continue to show growth in meeting and exceeding statewide English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics standards. The statewide assessment is taken by students in grades 3-8 and in grade 11. 

NMUSD students remain above Orange County and California averages overall in both ELA and mathematics.   

The Smarter Balanced Assessments are computer adaptive tests that adjust the difficulty of the test items based on how a test taker responds. This provides a more precise measure of student performance. 

Comparisons to 2015 Baseline Assessments

When compared to 2015 baseline assessments, NMUSD students show a growth of nine percentage points in students meeting or exceeding ELA standards, and a growth of seven percentage points in students meeting or exceeding math standards. 

Looking at the past five years of data, 22 schools showed growth in both ELA and math, with 12 schools showing double digit growth, including Adams, Rea, and Sonora Elementary Schools at the top of the list. 

Fourteen schools show double digit growth in ELA, with six schools (Adams, Newport Heights, Paularino, Rea, Sonora and Whittier Elementary Schools) showing a growth of 20 percent or more. Third grade students in particular show a 16 percent growth in meeting or exceeding ELA standards. English learners showed a nine percent growth and Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) students (students that were  previously English learners now reclassified as fluent English proficient) show a ten percent growth. 

Eleven schools show double digit growth in math, with third and fourth grade assessments showing a growth of nearly 13 percentage points and 12 percentage points, respectively. 

“Seeing our lower grades have steady growth is a testament to our intentional efforts and supports at the elementary level,” said Deputy Superintendent Russell Lee-Sung. “We are pleased to see our investments having positive results and will continue toward accelerating the progress through middle and high school,” he said.

Students with perfect scores in ELA or perfect scores in math have more than doubled in the five years of the assessment, with Ensign Middle SchoolCorona del Mar High SchoolNewport CoastAndersenKaiserMarinersDavis, and Newport Heights Elementary School having the most perfect scores. The most perfect scores have been in seventh, eighth and 11th grade.

Comparisons to 2018 Assessments

When compared to last year’s data, 25 schools show growth in students meeting or exceeding ELA standards, with a districtwide growth of more than three percentage points. In math, 19 schools show growth, with a districtwide growth of two percentage points.

Sixteen schools show a growth in both ELA and math, with Adams Elementary School showing double digit growth in both.

Adams, Rea, and Whittier Elementary Schools and Monte Vista and Estancia High Schools show double digit growth in ELA. Fifth and eighth grade in particular show the highest growth with approximately six and five percentage point growth, respectively. English learners in particular show a growth of more than seven percentage points in ELA while Reclassified Fluent English Proficient (RFEP) students show a four percentage point growth.  

Adams, Sonora and Victoria Elementary Schools show double digit growth in math, with fourth and fifth grade in particular showing the highest growth of more than five and a half percentage points and nearly six and a half percentage point growth respectively. English learners show a growth of nearly three and a half percentage points in math and RFEP students show more than two percentage point growth.

All schools in the Costa Mesa zone show growth in ELA, while all schools in the Corona del Mar zone show growth in math. 

Additional Resources

Individual student 2019 score reports were mailed to parents in August 2019. The NMUSD Smarter Balanced testing window for 2020 is March 16 through June 12, 2020. 

While statewide assessments provide valuable information about overall student progress and areas for improvement, they do not provide a holistic view of student achievement. The California School Dashboard provides a more detailed view of performance, based on multiple factors, beyond state testing results. These factors include graduation rates, suspension rates, chronic absenteeism and college and career readiness, as well as local indicators such as implementation of academic standards, parent engagement and the local climate survey.