The Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) magnet schools and centers surpassed statewide averages on math and English tests, and made double-digit gains against independent charters on California’s new assessments, according to district data released on Aug. 29.
Statewide, an average of 37 percent of students met or exceeded standards on math assessments, while 49 percent met standards in English Language Arts. In traditional LAUSD schools, 29 percent of students met or exceeded math standards and 39 percent of students met or exceeded standards on English exams.
In the district’s analysis of the Smarter Balanced Assessments, 61 percent of magnet students met or exceeded standards in English Language Arts, compared with 45 percent of independent charter students. On the math assessments, 48 percent of magnet students met or exceeded standards, while 31 percent of independent charter students met the standard.
“This is another accomplishment to celebrate as we move closer to our goal of preparing all of our graduates for success,” said LAUSD superintendent Michelle King. “We are working hard to identify strategies that support student achievement. We want all of our schools, no matter what model, to continue making progress so that students can fulfill their potential. What’s great about L.A. Unified is that we believe in all of our schools and all of our students.”
LAUSD currently has 214 themed magnet centers and free-standing schools, with plans to add or expand at least 13 more in 2017. Magnet school themes include business, communications, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and programs for gifted students.
The LAUSD created its magnet program in the 1970s as a voluntary desegregation program to increase racial equality in schools. Students are enrolled through a lottery.
“Families have many choices when it comes to educating their children, and I am proud of the high-quality options that L.A. Unified provides,” King said.
The online Smarter Balanced exams are based on California’s more challenging academic standards. They assess a student’s ability to write clearly, think critically and solve complex problems. Students in grades 3 – 8 and 11th grade take the test each spring.
According to the report, performance was highest in the 11th grade, with 76 percent of magnet students meeting or exceeding English Language Arts’ standards, and 46 percent achieving the standard in math. By comparison, 65 percent of 11th grade charter students met or exceeded standards on the English Language Arts exams and 33 percent performed at that level in math.
For information, visit www.lausd.net.
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