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STAR Tests: 2 in 3 San Mateo Union High Students Proficient in English

While the English-language arts test results were above the state average, students' scores in some of the other subjects weren't all the way up to par.

Students in the San Mateo Union High School District scored above-average in English-language arts on last school year's standardized tests but trailed behind the state in many other subjects, the state Department of Education reported Friday.

About 4.7 million students throughout the state took the Standardized Testing and Reporting, or STAR, test last school year, and 57 percent scored proficient or above in English-language arts while 51 percent scored proficient or above in mathematics—the highest percentage since the tests were first given in 2003, according to the education department.

STAR results monitor scores from second to 11th grades.

The English-language arts scores for the high school district—which comprises Aragon High, Burlingame High, Capuchino High, Hillsdale High, Mills High, San Mateo High and Peninsula High (continuation school)—were higher than the state at 67 percent. In 2011, 65 percent of students scored proficient or above.

But the test results in some of the other subjects weren't all the way up to par. The following are the other results for students in ninth through 11th grades who scored proficient or above:

  • Algebra I: 36 percent
  • Geometry: 43 percent
  • Algebra II: 56 percent
  • World History: 63 percent
  • Biology: 69 percent
  • Physics: 57 percent

In life science, tested in grades five, eight and 10, 64 percent of students in the 10th graders in the district testes at proficient or above.

State Superintendent Tom Torlakson sent out a glowing statement, touting how statewide scores in math and English-language arts have risen for the ninth year in a row.

“In less than a decade, California has gone from having only one student in three score proficient, to better than one student in two,” Torlakson said. “That’s nearly 900,000 more students reaching proficiency now than in 2003—a remarkable achievement that represents real, sustained improvements in learning.”

Torlakson said the achievement is even more noteworthy considering how badly California schools are struggling financially these days.

To see the full results for the school district, visit the California Department of Education website.

Associate Local Editor Jennifer van der Kleut contributed to this story.

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