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LAUSD magnets outscore charters on state tests

LA School Report | August 30, 2016

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(Credit: LAUSD)

By Barbara Jones

Los Angeles Unified’s popular magnet centers and schools outscored independent charters by double-digit margins on California’s new state assessments, and also beat statewide averages on the rigorous math and English tests, according to data released today.

In the analysis of the Smarter Balanced Assessments, 61 percent of magnet students met or exceeded standards in English-Language Arts (ELA), 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 hit those marks.

“This is another accomplishment to celebrate as we move closer to our goal of preparing all of our graduates for success,” said 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 to make progress in helping students fulfill their potential,” she said. “But what is great about L.A. Unified is that we believe in all of our schools and all of our students.”

Statewide, an average of 37 percent of students met or exceeded standards on math assessments, as did 49 percent on ELA tests. In traditional District schools, 29 percent of students met or exceeded math standards and 39 percent performed at that level on the English exam.

Magnets made across-the-board gains over their scores for 2015, when they outperformed independent charters and traditional schools.

“Magnet schools are committed to creating and maintaining a culture of rigor, high expectations, and scholarship,” said Keith Abrahams, the executive director of Student Integration Services. “Our schools establish the necessary conditions for innovation, exploration, and academic success. We view the Smarter Balanced results as a testament to our hard work.”

L.A.Unified currently has 214 themed magnet centers or free-standing schools, with plans to add or expand at least 13 more in 2017.  The themes include business, communications, the increasingly popular STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – and programs for gifted students.

Click here to read the full story on LAUSD Daily. And click here to read LA School Report’s three-part series on magnets.

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