Yu Ming Shines on STAR Tests

Posted by on Aug 12, 2013 | 0 comments

Yu Ming Shines on STAR Tests


Yu Ming fares well in first year of standardized testing

Yu Ming Charter School shined in its first showing on standardized education exams, scoring well above statewide averages released last week by the California Department of Education.

Starting in the second grade, public school students in California start taking the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exams, which are just one of many measures used to assess a school’s overall performance. Yu Ming’s inaugural second grade class participated in the tests this past May in English Language Arts (ELA) and in Mathematics.

The average math score for Yu Ming students was 476.1 compared with 380 statewide and 393.5 in Alameda County. All of Yu Ming’s math scores fell into the advanced or proficient categories (80 percent were advanced and 20 percent were proficient) compared with 65 percent statewide. Based on the Bay Area News Group Data Center, Yu Ming is also the only school in Alameda County with 100 percent of its second grade CST Mathematics scores at or above the proficient level.

The average ELA score for Yu Ming students was 390.6 compared with 357.5 statewide and 368.2 in Alameda County, even though the majority of instruction at Yu Ming is in Mandarin. At Yu Ming, 78 percent of the scores were in the advanced or proficient categories, while 18 percent and 4 percent were in the basic and below basic categories, respectively. The results were as good as or better than many non-immersion schools where instruction is given in English.

Over the next two years, the STAR exams will be phased out as the state aligns itself to the Common Core standards, a new federal standard for grades K-12 considered by top education officials to be more rigorous. Since 2010, 45 states, including California, have adopted the Common Core standards for English and math. California public schools, including Yu Ming, are expected to transition to new tests by 2014-15 or earlier.

Laura Ross, Yu Ming principal, said the school is in the process of adapting the Common Core standards for its Mandarin-language curriculum. “Aligning our curriculum and testing to the Common Core is an ambitious undertaking, particularly for an immersion school where the majority of instruction is in Mandarin,” said Ross. “With a handful of other schools, we are pioneers in this effort. It will take time and patience to make this transition, but we are confident that our students, teachers and staff can rise to the challenge.”

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