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South Pasadena Unified is a Top Performing District in Los Angeles County
Posted by: Sylvia Carroll Published: 9/14/15

On September 9, 2015, the California Department of Education released the 2015 Smarter Balanced Assessment results.  South Pasadena Unified continues to be one of the highest performing school districts in Los Angeles County.  “We applaud the performance of our students and our schools, and we commend our teachers on their continued efforts to implement the new California standards and prepare our students for this new assessment,” said Christiane Gervais, the Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services for South Pasadena Unified School District.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment utilizes computer-adaptive tests and performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge in English language arts/literacy and mathematics.  The new computer-based tests include supports for English learners and students with special needs, allowing these students as well as general education students, the ability to demonstrate their knowledge and skills effectively.  Test results include performance levels for all students including students with special needs and English language learners.   Since the Smarter Balanced Assessments are aligned to new standards on a new testing platform with new question types, the results should not be compared to the former STAR scores.  These scores are also being reported on a different scale than the STAR scores were reported in years past, as explained below:

Overall scores: Each student will receive an overall score for English language arts/literacy (ELA) and mathematics, expressed as a number between 2000 and 3000.

Achievement levels: Each overall score falls into one of four achievement levels: standard not met, standard nearly met, standard met, and standard exceeded.

SPUSD ELA Achievement Level Distribution in grades 3-8 and grade 11:


SPUSD Math Achievement Level Distribution in grades 3-8 and grade 11:

SBAC Math Distribution August 2015.jpg

Gervais further stated, “Smarter Balanced tests provide one measure of student knowledge of subject matter and the skills needed to prepare for and succeed in today’s world: critical thinking, analytical writing, and problem solving.”

All school site staff will work to review and analyze this data to establish site goals with action steps to focus efforts to support all students’ academic growth. Superintendent Yantz stated, “These exemplary test scores are a testament to the hard work put forth by our students, teachers, support staff, and administrators and the endless support of our parents and community members.  I could not be more proud.”

Individual Score Reports will be mailed to parents and guardians as soon as they are received by the District Office.