A little more than half – or 56 percent – of all third grade students in San Diego Unified met or exceeded English language arts standards on the latest statewide Smarter Balanced Test and now the superintendent is making big promises to improve student literacy rates.
“This district has pledged to have 100 percent of our children reading at grade level in third grade, and I could not be prouder of that commitment,” Sharon Whitehurst-Payne, a school board trustee who was appointed earlier this year and is running for a full term, said at a recent school board meeting. Superintendent Cindy Marten’s highest goal is to eliminate illiteracy, Whitehurst-Payne said.
The literacy pledge is composed of a four-year commitment that will – for the first time – be used in the school board’s evaluation of the superintendent, Whitehurst-Payne said.
The pledge is also part of the district’s larger goals to close the achievement gap and increase student equity – and it ties into the LCAP, the district’s comprehensive plan for student achievement.
And while third-grade students at some district schools seem to need little district intervention – such as at La Jolla Elementary, where 96 percent of third-graders met or exceeded English language arts standards – other students remain in dire need.
At Ibarra Elementary, only 28 percent of third-graders met or exceeded the English testing standard. At Valencia Park Elementary, 25 percent. At Keiller Leadership Academy, 12 percent.
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@rachelevans I'm curious to know how the District will base literacy proficiency. Will they use solely the Smarter Balance Results? As a SDUSD teacher, I find this worrisome because that would mean teachers will teach to the test to the detriment of student creativity and critical thinking. Did the Board specify what metrics they would use to judge Martin's literacy pledge? Also, as much as I would love it to be true, 100 percent proficiency is an impossible goal. We saw this in the No Child Left Behind era. Top schools with high test scores were placed in program improvement status because they didn't have 100 percent proficiency. With newly arrived non speaking immigrants and special education students, 100 percent is absurd. I have to wonder if they are just saying this to sound good.
I would be more worried if the smarter balanced common core test was actually valid. That whole thing is a boondoggle that costs our state/district a whole ton of money. Opting out of it is the best answer.