Palo Alto students continued to score well while East Palo Alto students showed mixed improvement on California's Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exams in English, mathematics, science and history.
The results, released Monday (Aug. 15), showed "steady" across-the-board improvement for California's 4.7 million schoolchildren, with 54 percent scoring "proficient or above" in English and 50 percent scoring proficient or above in math -- the highest percentage since the program's inception in 2003.
Palo Alto students far exceeded state averages, with majorities scoring "advanced" in many subject categories. But consistently, at least 5 percent of Palo Alto students were "below basic" or "far below basic" in many of those same subjects.
School-by-school results are available on the California Department of Education website.
"After a very strong upswing last year, we sort of stayed the same this year," Palo Alto Superintendent Kevin Skelly said.
"There's not that much change in the results. I guess I'm a little disappointed because you always want to see improvement, but with the gains we made last year this isn't surprising.
"I think I said at a board meeting last year that we'd have a hard time matching these results. I haven't seen our average SAT scores yet. Overall, I'm pleased with the results."
Students in East Palo Alto's Ravenswood City School District showed mixed gains in some categories, including mathematics.
For example, 63 percent of fourth-graders scored "proficient" or "advanced" in math in 2011, compared to 40 percent in 2010. And only 16 percent of this year's fourth-graders were "below basic" or "far below basic" in math in 2011, compared to 31 percent in 2010.
Ravenswood Superintendent Maria De La Vega was not immediately available for comment.