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    Student Outcomes Report #2 Shows Some Academic Growth; Commitment to Continued Progress Remains

    Santa Barbara Unified leaders presented their Student Outcomes Report #2 at the Tuesday, April 11, Board of Education meeting.

    Among the metrics to be presented Tuesday is the STAR Data for students in 3rd to 6th grade. From June 4, 2021, to March 9, 2023, the number of students meeting or exceeding the standard grew from 44% to 47%.

    “We are glad to see some growth in the reading numbers,” said Dr. Hilda Maldonado, Superintendent. “However, we still have a lot of work to do. We are using the data found in tests like this to guide our future work of teaching literacy. We are in the process of evaluating a new literacy curriculum and will soon be selecting one that integrates a variety of approaches and is culturally and linguistically responsive to the needs of our students. We need to expand our ways of teaching to ensure the wide range of learning styles of students are at the center of our teaching methods.”

    In math, student achievement scores improved from 2020-2021, but the numbers decreased slightly from last school year. In June 2021, 23% of students met or exceeded the standards for math. That number grew to 32% in 2022 and is down to 30% in 2023. This status report is a good indication of where student learning stands and how improvements can be made before the school year ends.

    “The STAR test results for this school year are an important indicator of where we are this school year. We still have time left in the school year. This shows us the work that needs to be done to help our students right now,” said Dr. Maldonado.

    At the high school level, more students are graduating and meeting the UC/ CSU requirements. High school graduation rates rose from 90.9% in 2018-2019 to 95.2% in 2021-2022. The number of graduates meeting UC/ CSU requirements rose from 48.12% in 2018-2019 to 61.6% in 2021-2022. Those numbers are also higher than the averages in Santa Barbara County and statewide.

    “We are proud of the focused work happening at the high school level to get students prepared for college and beyond. We are continuing our focus on eliminating the disparity in results for Latino, Black/African American and Two or More Races students continue to increase in meeting UC/CSU requirements,” said. Dr. Maldonado. 

    SB Unified is also seeing growth in the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC). The number of emergent multilingual learners testing proficiency has grown from 11.68% in 2020-2021 to 19% in 2021-2022. That’s also above the state average of 15.45%.

    “We are pleased to see an increase in the number of students reaching academic level English proficiency. Emergent Multilingual students require specialized teaching and learning to meet both language and content area knowledge. We will continue the work in this space to ensure our bilingual students are prepared for a globally diverse workforce,” said Dr. Maldonado. 

    As Maya Angelou said, “When we know better, we do better.” Our district is working on improved assessments throughout the school year to inform teachers about what students need to learn in order to meet grade-level standards.

    The Student Outcomes Report was presented at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. You can see the full breakdown of the statistics here.

    Santa Barbara Unified School District
    Santa Barbara Unified School Districthttps://www.sbunified.org/
    Established on June 6, 1866, Santa Barbara’s educational tradition is one of the oldest in the state of California. Its traditions are rooted in the 18th-century Spanish era. For over a century, our graduates have gone on to become community, state, and nationally recognized leaders.


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