Piedmont public school students turned in their usual excellent performance in this year's California Standards Test (CST).
Newly released results show 87 percent or more of students in grades 2-9 ranked as proficient or advanced in English-language arts while 90 percent or more students in grades 2-7 scored proficient or advanced in mathematics.
English-language arts scores fell off a little for high school sophomores and juniors, with 81 percent of 10th graders and 78 percent of 11th graders ranked as proficient or advanced.
The CST is the main component of the state's 2011 Standardized Testing and Reporting assessment, known as STAR. This year's results were released Monday by the California Department of Education.
Piedmont students scored well above state and county averages. Statewide, some 4.7 million students took the STAR tests, with 54 percent of them scoring proficient or better in English-language arts and 50 percent scoring proficient or better in math, according to the California Department of Education.
In Alameda County, where 162,410 students were tested, 59.6 percent scored at least proficient in English and 54.4 percent did so in math.
How Piedmont Fared
In general, scores were similar to those in previous years and were excellent at almost all schools and grade levels.
Millennium High, the district's alternative high school, was the exception, with only 20 to 26 percent of students reaching the proficient or advanced standard in English. Half of Millennium's 10th graders fell into the "far below basic" category in English.
Elsewhere, the testing news was generally very good. For seventh-graders, for example, math scores climbed by eight percentage points over last year's results, with 90 percent of students scoring at the proficient or advanced level.
Scores at Piedmont's K-5 elementary schools — , and — showed a large majority of students ranked as proficient or above in English and math. The three schools posted similar scores, although there was some fluctuation by grade level.
At , at least 89 percent of students achieved proficient or advanced scores in all subjects except eighth grade general math.
At , at least 83 percent of students in grades 9-11 scored at the proficient or advanced level in English. Scores were equally good or better in most other subjects.
Lower scores in ninth grade algebra, 10th grade geometry, and 10th and 11th grade Algebra II appear to reflect the fact that the district's mathematically stronger students tend to take these courses in earlier grades.
Detailed figures for Piedmont as a whole and for individual schools are available at star.cde.ca.gov.
The Picture Statewide
Statewide, students in second through 11th grades are tested in several subjects and ranked by the following levels: far below basic, below basic, basic, proficient or advanced.
Both state and East Bay scores are the highest since the program launched in 2003. That first year, just 35 percent of California students ranked proficient in math and English.
“The significant and sustained improvements we’ve seen for nine consecutive years prove how hard teachers, school employees, administrators and parents are working to help students achieve despite budget cuts that have affected our schools,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement. “Their heroic teamwork is paying off for California.”
Though overall test scores increased, an achievement gap remains.
Black and Latino students continue to lag behind their white and Asian peers statewide. Students from poor families and those for whom English is a second language also struggle to keep up, the numbers show.
STAR scores are used to come up with schools' Academic Performance Index and Adequate Yearly Progress report. Dropout and exit exam rates also factor into the API and AYP assessments.
Dropout rates were released Friday; those for the California High School Exit Exam are due out next week and the AYP and API scores will be released on Aug. 31.