Palo Alto students score well on STAR exams Schools & Kids, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Aug 21, 2007 at 12:46 pm
The 2007 California standardized testing scores, released last week, contain few surprises for Palo Alto Unified School District, which remains among the top five kindergarden-12 districts statewide, according to district officials.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 21, 2007, 10:49 AM
Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 21, 2007 at 12:46 pm
These results can only, at best, be a very rough estimate or guide.
My son's math teacher fairly admitted that he had not taught the trig part of the syllabus until after the STAR test had been given and his students would not have been able to do the trig questions at the time of the test but would if the test had been administered a few weeks later.
Posted by anonymous parent, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Aug 21, 2007 at 3:24 pm
I agree with Paly Parent in that my freshman child had not been taught Trig nor had she pre-learned it via advanced tutoring like some students, for that matter, but there was Trig on the test. That section was therefore a problem.
Posted by retired teach, a resident of another community, on Aug 22, 2007 at 12:47 pm
Unless there is a way to give a STAR test at the VERY end of the school year, there will most likely be something left on the test that is "untaught". The state gives districts a window to give the test in and it is up to the school/district to pick the timing that works best.
As a math teacher, I would not greatly rearrange my curriculum to teach trig (or other subject matters) prior to the STAR test. Certain things do not make sense to teach out of sequence. The sequence is sometimes determined by the individual teacher, but often is guided by the department or even the text book in use.
It brings up a familiar question... is our goal to educate kids simply to perform well on tests? As an educator and parent, my answer is no.
Posted by Paly Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 22, 2007 at 1:02 pm
My post was not a criticism, just a statement of fact. I do realise that the timing of the STAR tests reflects what is currently taught and not the whole curriculum of the school year.
It brings to mind what I always tell my kids. STAR tests is not a test to test them, but a test of what the teachers and schools are doing. Personally, I do not put any weight on these tests unless my child is well below the norm. It has shown up from time to time that my students have done extremely well on STAR tests and got a poor grade at the end of the semester, which begs me to ask which I should take more notice of. Personally speaking, when they get into high school grades, it is the SATs that give the best overall indication of how the student is doing rather than STAR tests. After all, colleges take note of grades and SATs but I do not believe the STAR tests are reported to the colleges at all. This proves that they are only a test of school and not the student.