Orange County Register

Saturday, June 13, 1998

English Mastery Reflected in Scores
EDUCATION: Students who had to learn the language tested better than native speakers, O.C. results show.
By ELIZABETH CHEY, The Orange County Register

The results of the first state-mandated test since 1994 show that Orange County students who have mastered English on average answered 50 percent more questions correctly than students with limited ability in English.

On the reading test, for example, English-only eighth-graders in the Anaheim Union High School District answered an average 56 of 84 questions correctly, while limited-English students answered 38 right.

The highest scores among Anaheim eighth-graders came from former limited-English students who have become fluent. They answered an average 60 of 84 questions correctly.

"They have learned better skills to understand content than kids who haven't gone through that kind of education," said Mary Dalessi, administrator for testing and evaluation. "The other thing they have is motivation. They want to learn."

School officials said results on the Stanford 9 have been consistent with results on other standardized tests in years past.

Ten districts have reported results to date: Anaheim Union, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton Joint Union, Huntington Beach City, Huntington Beach Union, Laguna Beach Unified, La Habra City, Newport-Mesa Unified and Tustin Unified. Others have not received scores yet because they gave the tests later.

All school scores will be posted by June 30 on the Internet. Parents are supposed to receive their children's scores 20 working days after the district.

All California students in second through 11th grade were required to take the test. Gov. Pete Wilson pushed for a statewide test in English that would provide individual and group scores for a uniform yardstick to compare schools.