CST Scores Give “Grade Bump” to Students and SJHHS

CST Scores Give

Kaiser, Bill G.

Teresa Quintero, Photographer

SJHHS surpassed both San Clemente and Capo Valley high schools for the first time with our new API score of 846, only 11 points behind Dana Hills — the next closest to SJHHS.
The jump in API scores follows a massive gain in 2011 when the school went to 835 (up from 810 two consecutive years).
Five months ago every non-senior sat down with a number two pencil and a test booklet, now the results are known. Many students took advantage of generous grade bumps offered by different departments at SJHHS for high performance on CST’s. The incentives are one possible factor leading to higher performance, although other high schools also offer incentives.
If a student moved up a level in a certain department (from the previous year) on the CST’s he/she was able to fill out a Grade Incentive Form which allowed the student to add 2.5-6 percent to their previous year’s grade, depending on the department. The form was due by October 15th 2012.
Abryana Young, senior at SJHHS, participated in the grade bumps. She decided that the tests really help your grade as well as GPA scores.
“A C+ in that class you hated last year can easily turn into a B- with the help of grade bumps, or even better; a B+,” she said.
Students at SJHHS made gains in every subject area on the CST’s with the exception of mathematics. Hispanic/Latino students, when broken out as a sub-group, did not perform as well on the tests compared to all students.  And in math, 78% were considered not proficient (far below basic, below basic, and basic added together), while 22% were proficient or above.
“While we have much to be proud of, our work continues — you will notice that our EL students dropped 9 points [in API scores] and our Hispanic students continue to score below our local schools,” principal Tom Ressler said in an email to staff.
SJHHS students have yet to score higher than Tesoro and Aliso Niguel High Schools and Dana Hills. Their API scores were 893, 881 and 857 respectively. Their demographics, however, do not match that of SJHHS where 35% of our student body are Hispanic/Latino.
Among schools with similar demographics we are at the top.