Sunday, September 02, 2012

STAR 2012: The What Does This Mean? Edition

Can't resist a HungryBear9562 reference.

The results have been posted from the Spring 2012 administration of the battery of STAR tests. These included the End of Course California Standards Tests in the sciences, including Physics. Which is to say I've got something to talk about.

Statewide: Top-scoring Physics stalls, Biology catches up, and Chemistry sees its biggest jump

Physics has been on top for several years. But this year's 52% Advanced and Proficient rate matches last years best-in-class performance. Biology's steady gains continued this year, and they have matched Physics' 52% ADV+PRO mark. Objectively, Biology's feat is more impressive since there are so many more Biology test-takers. The tie for 1st leaves Chemistry in its long-held third place rank. But Chemistry saw its biggest single-year jump ever: from 38% to 43% ADV+PRO. Although Earth Science remains fourth of 4, it, too enjoyed a nice upward performance bump.

Rio Physics/Baird: My largest ADV+PRO army despite losses in every standard set
My Physics results are mixed, although this seems to be the norm.

1. Good news: 63 of my 96 students performed at the Advanced or Proficient level. 

The school has produced bigger Physics ADV+PRO armies in the past (when we had two physics teachers), but I've never contributed as many as 63 to that army.

2. Bad news: Rio's Physics ADV+PRO rate is down from last year. 

We dropped from 70% to 66%. District schools, Bella Vista and Mira Loma, both posted better rates. But Rio did beat the average district performance, as well we should.

3. Good news: I've never had so many students perform at the Advanced level. 

Thirty-nine is a Baird Phyz Record.Those thirty-nine now reside in my in-class Phyz Hall of Fame on my illustrious Wall of Ego. Unfortunately, 7 in BB represents new records, too.

4 Bad news: We lost ground in nearly every standard set, compared to last year. 

The scene brightens slightly if you compare the 2012 performance to 2010. But why would you do that?


Anonymous said...

25% + 28% = 53% advanced and proficient, not 52%. Although physics scores may have stalled, math skills continue to decline.

Dean Baird said...

Very clever, Anonymous. I see what you did there.

Kindly direct your attention to Table 13 of August 31 STAR 2012 press release.


You might not yet possess a deep comprehension of rounding and significant figures. As ever, I am here to help.

Percentages are represented as whole number values.

Suppose the percent ADV were 24.6 and the percent PRO were 27.6.

1. How would each value best be expressed on the table of whole numbers?

2. How would the value of ADV+PRO best be expressed as a whole number?

1. 25 AND 28
2. 52

Mind-blowing, right? There's always something to learn here at The Blog of Phyz.